Los Angeles Coroner’s Office Points to Sleep Apnea, Other Factors in Carrie Fisher’s Death; Billie Lourd Releases Statement

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Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

In a statement released Friday, the Los Angeles coroner’s office confirmed the results of Carrie Fisher’s death inquiry. They determined the Star Wars star died on December 27, 2016 as the result of sleep apnea and other factors, like plaque build up in her arteries, but acknowledged that they couldn’t discern the exact cause of her demise. Their report also indicated that Fisher had several unspecified drugs in her system when she died. They could not, however, establish if the drugs had contributed to her dying.

Per the AP, the actress’s brother, Todd Fisher, said in response to the coroner’s findings: “We’re not enlightened. There’s nothing about this that is enlightening.” In addition to her struggle with addiction and her use of prescription medication to treat her bipolar disorder, both topics the actress and writer spoke candidly about in life, Fisher’s brother pointed to her heart disease and smoking as likely contributing factors in her death. Said Todd Fisher, “If you want to know what killed her, it’s all of it.”

Update, June 17: Shortly after the news broke, Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, released a statement that acknowledged the cause of her death. “My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life. She ultimately died of it,” the statement read. “She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases. She talked about the shame that torments people and their families confronted by these diseases. I know my Mom, she’d want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles. Seek help, fight for government funding for mental health programs. Shame and those social stigmas are the enemies of progress to solutions and ultimately a cure.”

Carrie Fisher’s Cause of Death Released