Although Chyna’s cause of death hasn’t been determined and toxicology results aren’t due for months, the wrestler’s manager has already declared what he believes killed the star.
With “98 percent certainty and 2 percent speculation,” manager Anthony Anzaldo said he believes Chyna died of an overdose of two prescription medications she’d been taking for years: Ambien and Valium, the Associated Press reported.
However, he doesn’t believe the wrestler ingested a huge number of pills just before her death or that she committed suicide.
Chyna, whose real name was Joanie Laurer, died April 17 at age 46 in her home in California, NBC News reported. Anzaldo found her at 3:30 p.m. three days later; he’d been unable to contact her.
“She fell asleep on Sunday night and peacefully took her last breath.”
No drugs or alcohol were found at the scene of her death.
The wrestler’s manager believes that Chyna had been “self-medicating a bit more than she should have” in the weeks leading up to her death. This misuse may have lasted for up to three weeks.
Chyna had been an insomniac her whole life and took a generic version of Valium, an anti-anxiety medication. She’d struggled with addiction in the past and had been known to binge drink. Her manager insisted that she hadn’t had alcohol for several weeks and that none had been found in her home after she died.
In recent weeks, the wrestler had evidently been navigating some serious personal issues, including issues of abandonment and violence from past relationships. Chyna had also been seeing a psychiatrist for the first time, had attended a women’s domestic violence groups, and visited her estranged father’s grave.
“A lot was going on in her life emotionally. But she wasn’t depressed; it was just a lot to deal with.”
It’s possible, according to Anzaldo’s theory, that her medications clouded her memory and she took more pills than she realized. He told the New York Daily News that she steadily increased her dosage and, “[o]n Sunday night, her body had enough.”
“She accidentally, over the course of two or three weeks, misused her legally prescribed medication. They’re not going to find, like, 60 pills in her stomach.”
Toxicology tests are pending and should arrive in eight weeks. The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner initially reported Chyna’s death as a possible overdose with prescription drugs, but that declaration hasn’t been confirmed. For now, the department said it’s premature to speculate on what killed Chyna.
Anthony was concerned enough about the wrestler to begin making arrangements for her to appear on A&E’s celebrity addiction reality series Intervention so she could get rehab for free; he said it “was the quickest possible way” to arrange for treatment.
As for the news that Chyna’s brain had been donated, by her mother, to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) specialist Dr. Bennet Omalu, her manager doesn’t believe the illness “cost her life.”
He admits, however, that her case would be interesting given her history with the WWE and domestic violence.
Chyna was a female pioneer in professional wrestling, which was a male-dominated sport in the mid- to late-1990s. The wrestler eventually became a reality TV star and adult film actress. She turned to fitness to escape a difficult childhood.
Days before her death, Chyna posted a strange 13-minute video online, which showed her wandering around her house wearing headphones and a feather in her hair. In it, the wrestler spoke to her fans.
“I hope you have a beautiful day. Wake up, wake up, wake up. Or sleep in. Or stay in bed all damn day today. It’s Sunday, right? Love you all, peace.”
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]