In August last year, Jess’ Packed To The Rafters co-star Hugh Sheridan, 35, confirmed the news of Karen’s death as he publicly supported his close friend with an Instagram tribute.
Alongside a series of photos of the pair together, Hugh reflected on his friendship with the 35-year-old actress as he revealed he was “grieving for my dearest and sweetest friend.”
“We’ve helped each other through our lives changing in so many ways. Our wins and highs met extreme lows sometimes, but we always made it through,” Hugh penned at the time.
“I can’t tell you how sh*t I feel knowing I can’t hug you right now. To have distance between us when I want to be with you. I know we’ve spoken since and we’re pretty private usually but I really wanted to let everyone know how much I’m grieving for my dearest and sweetest friend who’s now lost both of her parents far too young.”
Hugh added: “I have the best memories of us and Karen... remember we would make her laugh till she was going to wee. She was so proud of you and so am I.”
Jess was raised by her mother after moving to Australia from South Africa at nine years old and losing her father to a heart attack six months later.
Over on Jess’ Instagram account at the time, she had three days earlier shared a throwback photo of herself and her sister Clara with their mother during their childhood.
While Jess didn’t caption the photo, her followers appeared to show their support by commenting love heart emojis, including Rafters co-star Zoe Ventoura and Love Child co-star Sophie Hensser Bloom.