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Entries in Suicide (19)

Monday
Feb182013

Country Singer Mindy McCready Was 'Fearful of Stigma,' Dr. Drew Says

(NEW YORK) -- Troubled country singer Mindy McCready was "devastated" after the January death of her boyfriend and "fearful of stigma and ridicule," according to Dr. Drew Pinsky, who treated her in 2009 on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

McCready died Sunday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at her Arkansas home, police said. She was 37.

The country singer who soared to the top of the charts with her debut album, Ten Thousand Angels, struggled with substance abuse, served time in jail and fought a lengthy battle with her mother over custody of her son.

The singer appeared on the third season of Dr. Drew's VH1 show. She is the fifth person who has appeared on the show to die.

"I am deeply saddened by this awful news," Dr. Drew said in a statement posted in a VH1 blog. "My heart goes out to Mindy's family and children. She is a lovely woman who will be missed by many."

Dr. Drew said that he had not treated McCready for a few years, but "reached out to her recently" after her boyfriend and father of one of her two children, David Wilson, died in January of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"She was devastated. Although she was fearful of stigma and ridicule, she agreed with me that she needed to make her health and safety a priority," Dr. Drew said. "Unfortunately it seems that Mindy did not sustain her treatment."

"Mental health issues can be life threatening and need to be treated with the same intensity and resources as any other dangerous potentially life threatening medical condition," the doctor's statement said. "Treatment is effective. If someone you know is suffering, please be sure he or she gets help and maintains treatment."

Deputies from the Cleburne County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a report of gun shots fired at McCready's Heber Springs, Ark., home at around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.

There they found McCready on the front porch. She was pronounced dead at the scene from what appeared to be a single self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to a statement from the sheriff's office.

When reached by phone today, the Cleburne County Sheriff's Office said the sheriff would be responding to questions later in the day.

McCready was ordered to enter rehab shortly after Wilson's death, and her two children, Zander, 6, and 9-month-old Zayne were taken from her. She was released after one day to undergo outpatient care.

McCready scored a number-one Billboard country hit in 1996 with "Guys Do It All the Time," but in recent years, the country crooner has received more media attention for her troubled personal life than her music.

McCready reportedly had a decade-long affair with baseball star Roger Clemens that began when she was a teen, the New York Daily News reported in 2008. Clemens' attorney at the time denied any improper relationship, but McCready discussed details of the relationship on television.

"This is sad news," Clemens said in a statement today, posted on the Houston Astros website. "I had heard over time that she was trying to get peace and direction in her life. The few times that I had met her and her manager/agent they were extremely nice."

She has been arrested multiple times on drug charges and probation violations and has been hospitalized for overdoses several times, including in 2010, when she was found unconscious at her mother's home after taking a painkiller and muscle relaxant.

Her mother, Gayle Inge, was appointed to be her son Zander's legal guardian in 2007 after McCready was arrested for violating probation on a drug-related charge. The boy's father is McCready's ex-boyfriend Billy McKnight.

Following a custody hearing in May 2011, McCready released a statement, saying, "We have progressed in a positive manner to reunite me and my son, Zander. I feel very optimistic this will happen in the near future."

But just six months later, in November 2011, she was accused of violating a court order for failing to bring Zander back to her mother in Florida after a visit. The boy was placed in foster care while McCready and her mother worked out the custody dispute.

McCready's struggle with substance abuse was broadcast in 2010 on the third season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

"You know what, I don't think I'm ever going to be one of those people that has a normal, quiet existence," McCready told ABC Radio in 2010. "I've been chosen for some reason to be bigger and larger than life in every way. Negative and positive."

McCready, who was born and raised in southern Florida, moved to Nashville when she was 18 to start her music career.

Within a few months, she was starting to work with producer David Malloy, who got her tapes to RLG Records. The company signed her to a contract after seeing her in concert, giving her a record deal less than a year after her arrival in Nashville.

Her debut album, Ten Thousand Angels, went gold within six months of its release in April 1996, and eventually went multi-platinum. Two more followed: If I Don't Stay the Night, in 1997; and I'm Not So Tough in 1999.

Her most recent album, I'm Still Here, featuring new versions of her early hits "Ten Thousand Angels" and "Guys Do It All the Time," was released in March 2010.

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb122013

"Storage Wars" Star Mark Balelo Dead in Suspected Suicide

Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Storage Wars star Mark Balelo has apparently killed himself by carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to TMZ.com, sources close to Balelo report that he was found dead Monday in his own vehicle, which was parked and running in the garage of his Simi Valley, Calif., auction house.

The reality star, who appeared on several episodes of the A&E series, had been arrested for a drug-related offense on Saturday, according to TMZ sources.  It seems Balelo was distraught when he left jail and asked his fiancée to visit him because he was afraid for his own safety.

The couple reportedly then met on Sunday, after which he took a four-hour nap and awoke “feeling better.”  The woman left his office on Sunday evening and one of Balelo’s employees found his lifeless body on Monday morning.

An autopsy will be performed on Tuesday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug302012

Report: Hip-Hop Manager Chris Lighty Dead in Apparent Suicide

Johnny Nunez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Violator Management and Records founder Chris Lighty, who managed the careers of Mariah Carey, Diddy, 50 Cent and others, has been found dead, according to the New York Daily News. Sources tell the newspaper that police discovered Lighty in his Bronx apartment on Thursday morning; he apparently shot himself in the head.  He was 44.

Authorities say that Chris, who divorced his wife last year, may have been burdened by financial troubles.  That's according to the Daily News, which also reports that he owed about $5 million to the IRS.

Chris' friends in the industry took to Twitter to remember him on Thursday.  Among them were music exec Jeff Robinson, who tweeted, "So very sad about Chris lighty..Great long time friend,fellow bronxite and peer...incredible businessman and person."

He added, "Its very sad..noone knows what pressures we all really have behind the masks put on for the public and even family and friends.."

Russell Simmons, who at one time worked alongside Chris at Def Jam, issued a statement on Thursday, writing in his note, "I am deeply saddened by the loss of a hip-hop hero. Chris Lighty has been a dear friend of mine since he was a kid. Was a brilliant partner in business and I was so proud of all that he had accomplished."

Lighty had also worked with Busta Rhymes, Fantasia, Ja Rule, LL Cool J, Missy Elliott, Nas and Q-Tip.

Here's what others in the music business had to say:

Fat Joe: "R.I.P CHRIS LIGHTY THE MAN THAT SAVED MY LIFE!!!" and "I Would Be Nothing Without YOU!!! My Kids Appreciate YOU God Bless Chris Lighty"

Ghostface Killah: "Hard one to grab Yo damn.... My most humble prayers to the family of Chris Lighty!"

Chuck D: "R I P Chris Lighty SMH to the mongrels that have made the BLACKmusic industry a depressing game to drag such good cats into a pit of bullsht"

DJ Drama
: "wow. no words. RIP Chris Lighty."

Ludacris: R.I.P. Chris Lightly who always had the best energy every time I had an encounter with him. He will be missed.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug202012

"Top Gun" Director Tony Scott Dead in Apparent Suicide

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Prolific director Tony Scott, whose credits include Top Gun, Days of Thunder and Crimson Tide, has died in an apparent suicide.

The Los Angeles coroner's office says Scott, 68, jumped off the Vincent Thomas Bridge near Long Beach, California, around 12:30 p.m. PT Sunday.

California's The Daily Breeze reports a suicide note was found inside Scott's Toyota Prius, parked near the bridge.

According to Deadline.com, Scott was pronounced dead around 3 p.m.  The coroner's office tells the website his death is being investigated as a suicide.

Scott's rep confirmed his death to The Hollywood Reporter, without getting into specifics.

The British-born Scott, whose brother is Prometheus director Ridley Scott, delivered his first major film in 1983: the horror flick The Hunger, which starred Susan Sarandon and David Bowie.  Three years later, he released Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise.  He worked with Cruise again on 1990's Days of Thunder.

Scott's other major credits include The Last Boy Scout, Enemy of the State, Man on Fire, and the remake of The Taking of Pelham 123.  His last film credit was the 2010 Denzel Washington thriller Unstoppable.

Scott was also an executive producer of the CBS drama Numb3rs.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun072012

Bob Welch, Ex-Fleetwood Mac Member, Dead in Apparent Suicide

Fin Costello/Redferns(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Welch was found dead in his home in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday, a police spokesperson confirms to ABC News Radio.  He was 66.

A police spokesperson told ABC News Radio that Welch was discovered dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Thursday afternoon.  The spokesperson further added that Welch had recently been dealing with health issues.  A suicide note was left at the scene.

Welch played with Fleetwood Mac from 1971 to 1974, before Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham joined the group and they became worldwide superstars.  He had been brought in to replace departing guitarists Jeremy Spencer, who left to join a cult, and Peter Green, who had drug and mental health problems.  Their first album with Welch was 1971's Future Games; Welch wrote the title track.  The other albums he appears on include Bare Trees, Penguin, Mystery to Me and Heroes are Hard to Find.  He resigned in 1974; Buckingham and Nicks replaced him.

Welch went on to have a solo career in the late '70s, scoring hits with "Sentimental Lady" and "Ebony Eyes."  He also formed another, short-lived group called Paris.

Oddly, Welch was not inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Fleetwood Mac when the band received that honor in 1998.  He said in 2003 that he felt that legal issues, plus the fact that he was estranged from Mick Fleetwood at the time, led to the snub.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr242012

Demi Lovato Opens Up About Depression, Hollywood Drug Scene

ABC/Heidi Gutman(LONDON) -- Demi Lovato shines on stage and on screen with a big smile and down home charm that catapulted her to stardom in her early teens, but the former Disney star’s life has recently been filled with challenges.

At 20-years-old, the singer and actress has battled depression and a stint in rehab. And in an interview with Fabulous, a British magazine, she talks about her experience with drugs and what happens behinds the scenes in Hollywood.

“Promoters gave me drugs and alcohol in restaurants or clubs,” she said in the interview. “They wanted me to come back so I would be seen there.”

While she wouldn’t give specifics about her downward spiral, she touched on how she felt.

“What I can say is that I was depressed,” she told the magazine. “I would come off stage in front of 18,000 people and suddenly be alone in a hotel room. I’d come crashing down and would try to find a way to recreate that feeling, to stay up.”

She also talked cutting herself, saying: “You do it because you feel so bad inside. You don’t know how to take it out other than on yourself.”

And Lovato, who has a history of being bullied, has also suffered an eating disorder. She told Fabulous that she isn’t over her body image issues, and said she wasn’t ready to start acting again.

“I need to be secure in my body before I go back in front of the camera,” she told Fabulous. “Anyone in recovery from an eating disorder would find that triggering, and I’m not ready.”

The story of drugs and Tinseltown’s brightest stars is not new. Many idols, especially those who were child stars, have been overcome by the destructive lifestyle.

For Lovato, an Albuquerque native, the pitfalls of such a life were too much.

“I thought I was having fun,” she said. “Being a celebrity can be dangerous. Nobody says ‘no’. That’s why so many end up overdosing and dying. It could definitely have happened to me.”

In 2010, Lovato checked into Timberline Knolls, a residential treatment center. In an interview with Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts last year, she talked about the experience.

“I guess my darkest period was going into treatment for that first 48 hours and not having any communication with the outside world,” she said.

After three months of in-patient treatment away from Hollywood, Lovato learned to manage her emotions.

“I’m learning how to cope with issues, and cope with urges, and things like that, in healthy ways,” she told Roberts.

“Like, I’ve picked up knitting. I like, who would ever thought that, like, I knit on a Saturday night, like. Watching TV.  I totally do. I’m a knitter,” she said, laughing.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb222012

'Glee' Winter Finale Ends with Attempted Suicide, Pregnancy, Possible Death

Adam Rose/FOX(LOS ANGELES) -- Tuesday night's episode of Glee didn't live up to the show's title: as the finale ended, viewers witnessed what was quite possibly the death of Quinn Fabray.

The episode started with nasty Sebastian, the Warblers' frontman, telling Rachel that unless she dropped out of the Regionals competition, he'd post a Photoshopped image of Finn online, showing him naked and wearing women's heels.  Rachel refused to give in to his blackmail, which ticked Finn off.  But then, Dave Karofsky, the closeted gay student who used to beat Kurt up, takes center stage.  After being outed by his classmates, he's so devastated that he attempts suicide by hanging himself; his father finds him in time and takes him to the hospital.  He'll live, but his act has ramifications for all the other characters.

First of all, Karofsky's suicide attempt makes Sebastian withdraw his blackmail attempts -- we see in a flashback that Sebastian had contributed to Karofsky's misery by needling him at the local gay bar and telling him to stay in the closet.  In fact, Sebastian tells New Directions that not only is he not going to post the picture of Finn online, but that the Warblers are going to dedicate their Regionals performance to Karofsky, and ask for donations to Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation at the event.

The suicide attempt also makes Finn and Rachel realize that life is too short to wait; they announce they're tying the knot right after they win Regionals, at the Justice of the Peace.  At Regionals, New Directions destroy the competition with their renditions of "Fly/I Believe I Can Fly," "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" and "Here's to Us," taking first place.  As Rachel and Finn's parents try to think of a way to stop the impending marriage, Coach Sue Sylvester, who announced she was pregnant earlier in the episode, tells Mr. Schue that she wants to help him win Nationals.  She has yet to reveal the baby's father.

Meanwhile, Quinn, who was initially opposed to Finn and Rachel's marriage, tells Rachel she'd like to come after all, but she has to go home and get her bridesmaid's dress. The ceremony is supposed to start, and Quinn is heading to the courthouse, but she's stuck behind a slow-moving car.  Rachel frantically texts her to find out where she is, and when she picks up the phone to text, "On my way," another car smashes directly into hers.  The screen goes blank, then follows with a "to be continued."

Will Quinn live or die?  Will Finn and Rachel tie the knot? Who's Sue's babydaddy? Find out when Glee returns April 10th.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan122012

Sinead O’Connor Tried to Commit Suicide

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic(LONDON) -- Something’s wrong with Sinead O’Connor. She tried to commit suicide twice within the last week.  

“I took an overdose,” the 45-year-old singer told The Sun newspaper, not explaining what exactly she overdosed on.

While in Los Angeles last Thursday, O'Connor took an overdose.  Then earlier this week, after receiving treatment for a broken ankle in Ireland, she attempted suicide again, The Sun reports.

O’Connor posted a series of desperate tweets Wednesday, asking her followers to help her find “a psychiatrist who can help me today.”  ”i desperately need to get back on meds today,” she wrote. “am in serious danger.”

Fans came to her rescue. She thanked them hours after posting her original messages, got in touch with a psychiatrist and got medication.

“I just had to make a cry for help,” she told The Sun. "God obviously wants me around -- though I can’t think why.”

The mother of four got married for a fourth time last month, split from her new husband after 16 days, then got back together with him last week. In 2007, O’Connor revealed on Oprah that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2003 and had attempted suicide in 1999.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec022011

Brad Pitt Consoles Suicidal Actor at 'Moneyball' Screening

Eric Charbonneau/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Following a special screening of Moneyball in California on Sunday, Brad Pitt was faced with a distraught man during a Q&A session with hundreds of fans, says Us Weekly.

A struggling actor told Pitt and co-star Jonah Hill that he was battling suicidal thoughts alone in his car earlier that evening, but the film had given him "a renewed sense of hope."  

Pitt reportedly got "choked up" as the man opened up to the gathered crowd. But, according to a witness, the star didn't flinch: "He said, 'Look, man, life is up and down, it's a vicious cycle, but you have to go through it and deal with that.'"

Pitt continued, “You can be down, but then you come back up again, and every failure can lead to success.” As he left the theater he even stopped to talk with the distraught fan to offer him some more words of encouragement.

In Moneyball, Pitt portrays real-life Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane, who built a playoff team using computer-generated analysis to acquire its players.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Sep182011

Sinead O'Connor Says She Won't Kill Herself after Suicidal Tweets

Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage(DUBLIN) -- Sinead O'Connor has issued an apology following alarming tweets the singer posted expressing suicidal thoughts.

"I'm so tired. 24 yrs of being treated like a crazy person. Can't manage any more. Badly wish cud die without it ruining my kids lives," she tweeted on Sept. 14.

The tweets prompted police to storm the singer's house.

On Saturday, the singer -- who is perhaps best remembered for angrily ripping up a photograph of the Pope on Saturday Night Live in 1992 -- posted a letter on her official website assuring her fans that she does not plan on killing herself.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio