Nelsan Ellis‘ family is speaking out to reveal how the actor’s battle with addiction led to his untimely death.
The True Blood and Elementary actor died at the young age of 39 over the weekend.
“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,” the family shared in a statement to THR. “After many stints in rehab, Nelsanattempted 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 added. “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.”