Drew Barrymore's Half-Brother John on Sister Jessica's Death: "Doubt She Took Her Own Life"

Celebrity News Jul. 31, 2014 AT 6:35PM
John Barrymore and Drew Barrymore Credit: Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; David Livingston/Getty Images

Drew Barrymore's half-brother John spoke out about his younger sister Jessica's death on what would have been her 48th birthday, Thursday, July 31, likening her sudden passing to that of the late Heath Ledger.

"It looks like it was a drug misadventure," John told the New York Daily News. "Mixing alcohol and pills."

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According to local news station KGTV ABC10 in San Diego, Calif., Jessica was found dead inside her car on Tuesday, July 29. The star's half-sibling was unresponsive when reportedly discovered with a SoBe energy drink between her legs and "dozens of white pills" scattered across the passenger seat. Her brother added to the Daily News that "some empty vodka bottles [and] a couple bags of meth" were found in the vehicle as well.

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"My guess is that it was the booze and pills, like with Heath Ledger," he said of the late actor, who died in November 2004. "I seriously doubt she took her own life…. She was a kindred spirit. She knew laughing is what saves us all."

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Jessica's famous half-sister, meanwhile, released a statement to Us Weekly on Tuesday, saying: "Although I only met her briefly, I wish her and her loved ones as much peace as possible and I'm so incredibly sorry for their loss."

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John confirmed that the daughters of late actor John Drew Barrymore barely knew each other. The half-sisters met around the time of their father's death nearly ten years ago, and again to scatter his ashes, he told the Daily News. "I don't blame (Drew) for being terrified of anyone she's related to," John said. "Her parents were pretty toxic."

Drew opened up about her own battles with substance abuse and depression in her 1990 memoir, Little Girl Lost. The Charlie's Angels star started using drugs at the age of 9, and entered rehab twice before age 14. She ultimately overcame her struggles and is now a married mom of two daughters with husband Will Kopelman.

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