The official cause of death for the late former American Idol contestant Michael Johns has been revealed. A coroner’s report released earlier today listed the 35-year-old’s COD as the result of an enlarged heart, along with complications having to do with what is referred to as a “fatty liver”.
The aforementioned report, which was released by the Orange County Coroner, details said coroner’s findings that Johns died of what are said to be the natural causes of a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. This is a disease in which blood flow to the body is prevented from occurring as smoothly as it normally would, and often results in the inflicted patient’s heart becoming enlarged. The accompanying “fatty liver” diagnosis is said to be the result of any number of complications, although the most recurring of these in most patients is excess alcohol intake. It is believed that this cause is mostly likely associated with how Johns died as well, as law enforcement sources gave the statement shortly following the singer’s death that he had been drinking heavily in the hours before his death.
The Australian native’s death has been the subject of much controversy since its occurence on August 1. The initial cause of his passing was listed as the result of a blood clot in his ankle that had caused extremely swelling and bruising to his leg, causing his heart to stop. This is a condition more commonly know as DVT, or deep vein thrombosis. His death occurred while crashing at the home of his best friend Torrey Gambill, who was the reason behind 911 being called after he realized Johns was no longer responsive. An autopsy investigation was set into motion after police determined that the Hold Back My Heart singer had been engaging in the aforementioned heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Gambill, however, was adamant from the start that Johns’ death had absolutely nothing to do with a blood clot and everything to do with drinking himself to death. He became involved in something of a legal war with the singer’s widow Stacy Vuduris, with both of them filing opposing documents against each other in which they accused the other of harassment and misconduct. The wife claimed that Gambill had been on a rampage against her since Johns’ passing, sending her abusive text messages and blaming her for its occurrence. The friend called nonsense on these allegations, however, saying in turn that Vuduris had pulled out all the stops in order to cover up the real reason her husband died, and all in an effort to save face in regards to any public scrutiny that may come her way should the truth come out. Gambill claims that Johns and his wife were not even together at the time of his passing, having split some time beforehand in a less than amicable state. Vuduris allegedly did everything she could to make her ex partner’s life miserable, which reportedly led to him drinking to excess in order to try to deal with the situation.
Gambill also says that Vuduris showed little to no concern that her husband’s life had ended, but rather immediately began thinking of possible excuses to cover up the drinking (the documents contained an alleged text message sent from the woman’s phone to Gambill in which she detailed her view that a blood clot seemed just sudden enough for people to not ask a lot of questions, and anyone who knew the truth was not likely to give anything away to the media.) The woman also alleged tried to get Gambill to spread the word that her husband had died in the home they previously shared, in order for her to come out on a moral high ground in terms of being present when he died. Vuduris has since denied all of these accusations, and the two have reached an out of court settlement in terms of their disagreement.
It remains to be seen whether alcohol consumption was the primary reason behind the “fatty liver” that contributed to his death occurring via an enlarged heart. While best friend Torrey Gambill remains insistent that this was indeed the case, concrete proof on the matter has never been revealed.
By Rebecca Grace