True Blood star Nelsan Ellis’ cause of death has been revealed.
According to a statement released on behalf of his family, the beloved actor – who was best known for playing flamboyant Lafayette in the hit HBO series - died of heart failure after experiencing complications from substance withdrawal.
“Nelsan has suffered with drug and alcohol abuse for years,” his former manager, Emily Gerson Saines, told The Hollywood Reporter.
“After many stints in rehab, Nelsan attempted to withdraw from alcohol on his own.”
“During his withdrawal from alcohol he had a blood infection, his kidneys shut down, his liver was swollen, his blood pressure plummeted, and his dear sweet heart raced out of control. On the morning of Saturday July 8th, after four days in Woodhull Hospital, Nelsan was pronounced dead.”
In the statement, Saines also paid tribute to the 39-year-old, remembering him as a “gentle, generous and kind soul.”
“He was a father, a son, a grandson, a brother, a nephew and a great friend to those that were lucky enough to know him,” she said.
Despite Ellis' family claiming that he was “ashamed” and “reluctant to talk” about his battle with substance abuse, they believe that his tragic death should be treated as a “cautionary tale” to help other sufferers of addiction on their road to recovery.
As well as True Blood, Ellis also starred in The Help, The Soloist, The Butler, Secretariat, and Get on Up.
You might also like…