True Blood star, Nelsan Ellis, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 39, died as a result of a lifelong battle with drug and alcohol abuse, according to loved ones.
The actor’s family released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter through his manager, Emily Gerson Saines, detailing the exact circumstances of his passing in the hopes that others struggling with the same issues might be helped.
“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,” the family said in a statement.
“On the morning of Saturday July 8th, after four days in Woodhull Hospital, Nelsan was pronounced dead.”
His death shocked fans and friends, who all poured out their love and support upon hearing the news of his passing.
“We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis,” HBO said in a statement on Saturday. “Nelsan was a longtime member of the HBO family whose groundbreaking portrayal of Lafayette will be remembered fondly within the overall legacy of True Blood. Nelsan will be dearly missed by his fans and all of us at HBO.”