Nelsan Ellis’ Family Reveals His Struggle With Drugs & Alcohol, Says Withdrawal Triggered Heart Failure

Nelsan Ellis’ Family Reveals His Struggle With Drugs & Alcohol

Nelsan Ellis‘ family has opened up about the circumstances surrounding his death on Saturday (July 8).

The “True Blood” star died from complications related to heart failure his family says was related to alcohol withdrawal. He was 39.

[Read Also: ‘True Blood’ Star Nelsan Ellis Passes Away At 39]

In a statement through Nelsan’s manager, Emily Gerson Saines, the family opened up about his struggles with alcohol and drug abuse for years.

After many stints in rehab, Nelsan Ellis tried to withdraw from alcohol on his own triggering complications that led to heart failure.

Read the full statement below via The Hollywood Reporter:

In an effort to help others who may be struggling with the same addictions that afflicted Ellis, his family released the following via Saines to THR:

Nelsan’s father has bravely agreed for me to share the circumstances of Nelsan’s heart failure. Nelsan has suffered with drug and alcohol abuse for years. After many stints in rehab, Nelsan attempted to withdraw from alcohol on his own. According to his father, during his withdrawal from alcohol he had a blood infection, his kidneys shut down, his liver was swollen, his blood pressure plummeted, and his dear sweet heart raced out of control.

On the morning of Saturday July 8th, after four days in Woodhull Hospital, Nelsan was pronounced dead. Nelsan was a gentle, generous and kind soul. He was a father, a son, a grandson, a brother, a nephew, and a great friend to those that were lucky enough to know him. Nelsan was ashamed of his addiction and thus was reluctant to talk about it during his life. His family, however, believes that in death he would want his life to serve as a cautionary tale in an attempt to help others.

Nelsan’s passing is especially devastating knowing he was trying to better himself and overcome an addiction.

[Read Also: Stephen Moyer, Anna Paquin, Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis, & More Remember Nelsan Ellis]

Rest well, King.

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