‘True Blood’ star Nelsan Ellis died after battle with addiction


Categories: celebrities
‘True Blood’ star Nelsan Ellis died after battle with addiction

The family of Nelsan Ellis says the “True Blood” star died of heart failure stemming from symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

Speaking out two days after Ellis’ untimely death at the age of 39, the family revealed on Monday that the actor had battled alcohol and drug abuse for years before recently attempting to stop using booze on his own.

“After many stints in rehab, Nelsan attempted to withdraw from alcohol on his own,” the family said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, through his manager Emily Gerson Saines. “According to his father, 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.”

Ellis spent four days in Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn before he passed away on Saturday.

Remembering Ellis as a “gentle, generous and kind soul,” the family said Ellis would have wanted others to learn from his addiction.

“Nelsan was ashamed of his addiction and thus was reluctant to talk about it during his life. His family, however, believes that in death he would want his life to serve as a cautionary tale in an attempt to help others,” the statement continued.

Tributes poured in over the weekend from co-stars who were heartbroken to learn of Ellis’ death.

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