The family of True Blood actor Nelsan Ellis have opened up about the circumstances surrounding the 39-year-old’s shock death.
In a statement issued to The Hollywood Reporter, Ellis’ manager, Emily Gerson Saines, said the star’s had struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for several years prior to his passing on Saturday morning.
"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."
The statement described Ellis as a "gentle, generous and kind soul", and said his family believed Ellis "would want his life to serve as a cautionary tale in an attempt to help others."
Gerson Saines, confirmed the actor’s death in an email on Saturday. The Hollywood Reporter, which was first to report Ellis’ death, quoted her as saying the actor died from complications of heart failure.