The autopsy report showing that Carrie Fisher used drugs before she passed was no surprise to her closest family members. The results confirmed that the 60-year-old actress had cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, alcohol, and opiates in her system 72 hours before she died. However, the medical examiner could not determine if the drugs were the reason Fisher slipped into a coma on a Los Angeles-bound flight.
The Star Wars actress had been rushed to the hospital where she suffered cardiac arrest and died four days later. At the request of the family, medical examiners did not dismember her body. Instead, they conducted CT scans that showed the actress had ingested a cocktail of drugs prior to her death.
Fisher who played the iconic Princess Leia in the Star Wars trilogy never shied away from her struggles with mental illness and drugs. She started smoking marijuana at age 13 and would later move on to LSD and cocaine. Fisher was also diagnosed with the bipolar disorder at age 24.
She encapsulated her experiences in Postcards From the Edge, a semi-autobiographical novel about an actress who was crumbling under the weight of substance abuse. The novel would eventually be made into a movie starring Meryl Streep.
In an interview with LA Times, brother Todd Fisher revealed that he was unperturbed by the coroner’s findings, adding that his sister would probably have died earlier if she had stopped using the drugs.
“I would tell you, from my perspective that there’s certainly no news that Carrie did drugs…without her drugs, maybe she would have left long ago. I am not shocked that part of her health was affected by drugs.”
Todd Fisher came to the defense of the doctors who prescribed the medication, saying they were doing their best to help Carrie with her mental illness. He added that he did not think the revelation would tarnish his sister’s legacy because of the avalanche of unflinching love and support from her fans.
“We are touched by the outpouring and overwhelming support from her fans. The few negative comments are crushed by them; they come to her defense and allow us to rest.”
Carrie’s sister Joely Fisher, in a statement obtained by ET Online, said the Shampoo actress’ life was an open book, adding that the star never made any excuses for her shortcomings. Joely noted that she would have loved to get her sister’s response to the autopsy report, disclosing that Carrie remained a source of inspiration to many people dealing with the same demons.
“It’s a shame we can’t hear her own words regaling us with this final kick line…do not let this change the way you feel about my brilliant sister. She was a lot of things to a lot people, but she was never a liar. She lived hard, let her rest. She is a hero for all those suffering from mental illness and drug addiction.”
Carrie’s only child, Billie Lourd, in an exclusive statement to People regarding the autopsy report, said her mother battled with mental illness and drug addiction her whole life, divulging that Fisher remained undaunted in warding off the social stigma surrounding the diseases until her last breath.
“She talked about the shame that torments people and their families confronted by these diseases. I know my mom; she’d want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles. Seek help and fight for government funding for mental health.”
[Featured Image by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]