Autopsy Reveals Cocaine Contributed to Billy Mays' Death

Celebrity News Aug. 7, 2009 AT 5:21PM
Billy Mays Billy Mays seen on the streets of Manhattan on June 10, 2009 in New York City. Credit: Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage.com

Cocaine played a role in the June death of TV pitchman Billy Mays, an autopsy report reveals.

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According to the Associated Press, officials announced Friday that the OxiClean spokesperson -- who passed away after suffering a heart attack in his sleep on June 27 -- had last used the drug days before his death.

The Hillsborough County medical examiner's office said that although 50-year-old father of two died from hypertensive heart disease, cocaine use was a contributing cause of death.

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(At the time of his death, medical examiner Vernard Adams said Mays was taking the prescription painkillers Tramadol and hydrocodone for hip pain, but there was no indication of drug abuse.)

Mays' wife Deborah, however, called such conclusions "speculative" in a statement released Friday.

"We are extremely disappointed by the press release released by the Hillsborough County medical examiner's office," she said in the statement. "We believe it contains speculative conclusions that are frankly unnecessary and tend to obscure the conclusion that Billy suffered from chronic, untreated hypertension, which only demonstrates how important it is to regularly monitor one's health."

She added: "Given the hectic nature and pace of Billy's life, especially during the past 10 months of his exhaustive travel across the country, it was not surprising to hear that hypertension was the cause of his death. We were totally unaware of any non prescription drug usage and are actively considering an independent evaluation of the autopsy results."

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