Last week’s official toxicology report released to the media stated that traces of cocaine were found in her system and that its chronic use may have contributed both to heart disease evident in her body and to her untimely death at age 48 on February 11.
Besides cocaine, investigators also found by-products of prescription pills, including that of Xanax, but at amounts which would be consistent with appropriate prescription dosages.
Beverly Hills Police Lt. Mark Rosen told People Magazine that Houston’s case was still an open and pending investigation but refused to elaborate because the case was still in progress.
Police previously acknowledged that prescription pill bottles were found in the singer’s hotel room at the Beverly Hilton, but no mention of illegal drug presence was made.
The coroner with the L.A. County has declared Houston’s death accidental, and will conclude its formal inquiry with the release of the full autopsy report in two weeks.
The revelation that Houston continued to be a chronic cocaine user and used cocaine up until her death has stirred up some family drama. Houston’s former sister-in-law, Bobby Brown’s sister Leolah Brown, accused singer Ray J of providing the drug to Houston.
Ray J reportedly dated Houston, but Leolah Brown described him as Houston’s “runner boy” who bought and delivered the goods for the superstar. She said she saw him leave Houston’s hotel room hastily on the night of her death, presumably after delivering the cocaine. Brown made the comments on CNN’s Dr. Drew show, to Ray J’s outrage.
Ray J was quick to defend himself, saying in a statement that "Even though Leolah Brown was nowhere near the Beverly Hilton Hotel on the day Whitney Houston died, CNN proceeded to broadcast an interview with Ms. Brown in which she falsely claimed that Ray J was at the hotel and contributed to Whitney Houston's death."
Dr. Drew Pinsky was also quick to distance himself from Brown’s allegations, and he reiterated that he had "immediately noted that we could not verify the accuracy of (Brown's) claims" and said that the interview had not re-aired.
The coroner’s official statement has proved to be a lightning rod for more media drama, as the medical conclusions fly in the face of what the public expected.
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