Fans were shocked to hear the news that True Blood star Nelsan Ellis passed away over the weekend. Ellis was only 39. His manager, Emily Gerson Saines, told The Hollywood Reporter that he passed away after complications with heart failure. Today his family revealed in a statement that it was from complications of alcohol withdrawal.
“Nelsan’s father has bravely agreed for me to share the circumstances of Nelsan’s heart failure,” said Saines. “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,” Saines continues. “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.”
As previously reported, the actor, who also appeared in The Soloist, The Butler, Get on Up and Elementary, was 39.
He is survived by his son, Breon, and seven siblings: Lakeeia Thomson, Tommie Lee Thompson, Babon Ellis, Maurice Turne, Tianna Thompson, Shaentika Beard and Yvonne Ellis.
Image Credit: Emily Gerson Saines