Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • Live: France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • 51 French nationals aboard missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Deadly Israeli strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets with Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy

    Read more

  • Algerian jet vanishes: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

Culture

Whitney Houston died from drowning, coroner says

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-03-23

Pop icon Whitney Houston died from accidental drowning after taking cocaine that may have triggered a heart attack, Los Angeles County coroners announced Thursday. Houston, 48, died in a bathtub at a Beverly Hills hotel last month.

AFP - Grammy-winning pop legend Whitney Houston died from accidental drowning in her hotel bathtub after taking cocaine which could have triggered a heart attack, coroners said Thursday.

Houston, who died at age 48 in the bathtub of a Beverly Hills hotel room last month, likely had some kind of heart attack which caused her to slip under the water, said the Los Angeles County Coroner's office.

"You have a heart condition exacerbated by cocaine use which, combined, resulted in her drowning," spokesman Craig Harvey told AFP, adding: "We feel that there was a heart event, complicated by cocaine use," before she drowned.

Ed Winter, deputy chief of coroner investigations, was more explicit when asked by the LA Times to explain the drowning. "She may have had a heart attack," he told the newspaper.

She had cocaine in her body when she died, said a coroner's office statement, which described her death as an "accident," and the cause as "drowning" and "effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use."

"How injury occurred: found submerged in bathtub filled with water; cocaine intake," it said, adding: "No trauma or foul play is suspected," and that a final coroner's report will be available for release within two weeks.

Fans react with shock to Houston's death

Houston was found dead on February 11, a day before the music industry's biggest awards show, and hours ahead of a glittering pre-Grammy party in the Beverly Hilton hotel where she died.

Speculation had raged since her death that the singer may have succumbed to a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs and alcohol.

Indeed, other drugs were found in her system, but which did not contribute to her death, the coroner's office said. They included marijuana, alprazolam (Xanax), cyclobenzaprine (Flexiril) and Diphenhydramine (Benadryl).

The TMZ celebrity news website quoted a coroner's office official as saying Houston used cocaine "immediately prior to her collapse" -- but investigators who arrived on the scene found no traces of cocaine or any other illegal drug.

That was because "an individual" removed all traces of cocaine from the room before authorities arrived, it said, adding that the person was the same one who supplied the drug to Houston.

The coroner's office spokesman said chronic use of cocaine was likely a key factor in Houston's death.

"Chances are, had she not had the pre-existing heart disease and cocaine use she may not have drowned," he said. "The cocaine causes the heart to beat faster, the arteries to constrict, which could... set you up for a cardiac event."

Houston's shock death cast a pall over the annual gathering at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, with several tributes to the singer -- and a public prayer -- added to the show at the last minute.

The singer of hits including "I Will Always Love You" sold over 170 million records during a nearly three-decade career, but fought a long battle against substance abuse while trying to keep her performing talent alive.

Houston was buried a week after her death in New Jersey after an emotional farewell ceremony in the Newark baptist church where she sang as a child, which was watched worldwide.

Earlier this month it emerged that Houston had left all of her assets to her daughter Bobbi Kristina, born from her troubled marriage to singer Bobby Brown, who gets nothing.

Bobbi Kristina, who is currently 19, will inherit the proceeds from all of the late singer's money, furniture, clothing, personal effects, jewelry, and cars, according to the will published on March 7.

A few days later Bobbi Kristina said she plans to follow her mother into show business, while the drug-troubled star's sister-in-law admitted her untimely death could have been predicted.

The late star's sister-in-law, Patricia Houston, said it had been possible to forecast that drugs would claim the singer's life. "The handwriting was kind of on the wall. I would be kidding myself to say otherwise."
 

Date created : 2012-03-23

  • USA

    Stars mourn Whitney Houston at hometown church

    Read more

  • MUSIC

    Whitney Houston's life, death and musical legacy

    Read more

  • Music

    Singer Whitney Houston found dead, aged 48

    Read more

COMMENT(S)