London (CNN) -- The ex-wife of Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood said the precarious finances of L'Wren Scott's fashion business may have played a role in the late designer's apparent suicide.
"I think it might have been, for her, a question of losing face," 59-year-old Wood told CNN in an exclusive interview.
"She was such a proud woman that, I think, to face that, well maybe that was the trigger."
Wood admitted she was "surprised as much as everyone else" to learn of the death of Scott, the longtime partner of her ex-husband Ronnie's band mate Mick Jagger.
Scott, 49, was found dead in her Manhattan apartment on Monday; she appears to have taken her own life.
Wood said she had been in contact with Ronnie who reported that Jagger was "devastated" by the news.
"The band is rallying around Mick," said Wood. "This will have hit him at the worst possible time, when he's away on tour.
And she questioned the future of the Rolling Stones in the wake of the news: "Where they go from here I just don't know," she said.
Asked whether this would spark the end of the band's 50-year career in rock music, Wood said: "I don't know.
"Mick's devastated -- to have a girlfriend commit suicide -- he always looked after the women in his life. This will have hit him very hard.''
Scott, a former model and entrepreneur, was also a well-known celebrity stylist, having dressed scores of high profile clients for red carpet events like the Oscars and Golden Globes.
She incorporated her clothing line in the UK in 2006 under the name LS Fashions Ltd., but six years later the firm was trading heavily in the red.
Accounts filed with the UK's Companies House show that by the end of 2012 it had racked up debts of $7.6 million, and was burning though cash at a rapid rate.
In the last year of its submissions, official paperwork showed the company's liquid reserves had plummeted to just a tenth of their value in 2011.
In a statement issued Friday, a spokesperson for Scott said, "The long-term prospects for the business were encouraging. Ms. Scott was very focused on doing what was right for her global business and for the support of her team."
Scott had been due to hold a show at London Fashion Week on February 16, but the event was cancelled, the British Fashion Council confirmed.
Mick Jagger, who had shared his life with Scott for 13 years, took to his official site MickJagger.com and to Facebook to express his grief.
"I am still struggling to understand how my lover and best friend could end her life in this tragic way," he wrote.
"We spent many wonderful years together and had made a great life for ourselves. She had great presence and her talent was much admired, not least by me.
"I have been touched by the tributes that people have paid to her, and also the personal messages of support that I have received," he wrote, adding: "I will never forget her."
Wood, who had spent time with Scott while on tour with the band, described her as "a bit aloof" and "hard to get close to," but always courteous and kind.
Scott's relationship with Jagger, she said, seemed "close" and "warm."
"I always thought they were very happy. I never saw any kind of argument. She was always very supportive of him."
Following news of Scott's death, the Rolling Stones postponed the rest of their tour of Australia and New Zealand until further notice.
In a statement explaining the decision, the band said: "Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood wish to thank all of their fans for their support at this difficult time and hope that they will fully understand the reason for this announcement."