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Tuesday 23, October 2012
Los Angeles coroner confirms that British film director’s death was suicide
Mystery motive … Tony Scott was not suffering from cancer.
The British film-maker Tony Scott was on antidepressants and had taken sleeping medication before leaping from a Los Angeles suspension bridge in August but did not have cancer, a preliminary autopsy report suggests.
The LA county coroner’s office also confirmed yesterday that Scott’s death was suicide, though his motive remains a mystery. A number of suicide notes reportedly contained no details of why the Top Gun director chose to kill himself. The report said Scott’s immediate cause of death was blunt force trauma and drowning. Non-toxic levels of the antidepressant mirtazapine and the prescription sleeping pill Lunesta were in his system.
The last person to see Scott alive was a passerby parking his car on the Vincent Thomas bridge over Los Angeles harbour. He saw the director leap into the water just after noon on 19 August. Scott’s body was recovered by law enforcement a few hours later. The bridge is a well-known suicide spot whose surface is about 185ft (56m) above the harbour’s navigation channel. It connects the port district of San Pedro in southern LA to Terminal Island in the harbour.
Preliminary reports following Scott’s death hinted that he might have had inoperable brain cancer, but the director’s family denied such suggestions.
Scott, 68, the younger brother of Ridley, also a director and his production partner, had made big-budget features and worked with A-list stars over a long career. Rarely seen without his trademark red baseball cap, he had collaborated with Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise, Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Robert De Niro and Gene Hackman, among others, on action movies and thrillers. Hits included The Taking of Pelham 123, Man on Fire, The Last Boy Scout, Enemy of the State and True Romance.
At the time of his death, Scott was reported to be working on a sequel to 1986’s Top Gun, his most successful film at the box office. The director, who was born in North Shields, Tyneside, had reportedly scouted the Vincent Thomas bridge for a planned remake of the cult 1979 comic book adaptation The Warriors.
A coroner’s spokesman said a final report was two weeks away.
Tony Scott had taken anti-depressants and sleeping pills before he jumped off bridge to his death as autopsy confirms director WASN’T suffering from cancer
- Director’s cause of death confirmed as suicide two months after he killed himself by jumping off bridge into Los Angeles harbour
- Autopsy report reveals he had taken anti-depressants and sleeping pills
- But coroner found ‘no evidence of cancer’ despite earlier rumours
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED:00:40 GMT, 23 October 2012
Filmmaker Tony Scott had anti-depressants and sleeping pills when he killed himself by jumping off a bridge in August, an autopsy report revealed on Monday.
The report by the Los Angeles County coroner confirmed that the Top Gun director’s death was a suicide, and listed the cause of death as multiple blunt force injuries.
It said that he also drowned after leaping from the Vincent Thomas Bridge into Los Angeles harbour on August 19.
Scott had therapeutic levels of the anti-depressant Remeron and the sleep aid Lunesta in his system when he died, the report has revealed.
It has long been assumed that the director had killed himself, as he left a number of apparent suicide notes in his car when he died.
However, the notes did not suggest any motive for the suicide, and his death certificate did not initially list a cause.
Initial reports that he had been suffering from terminal brain cancer have now been confirmed to be incorrect.
‘There was no evidence of neoplasia – cancer – identified,’ coroner Craig Harvey told the Los Angeles Times.
He added that Scott did not appear to have been suffering from any serious long-term illness at all.
911 tapes released earlier this month revealed that at least five female motorists reported seeing Scott leap to his death.
The 68-year-old filmmaker committed suicide by jumping off Vincent Thomas Bridge, linking the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach, in broad daylight on August 19 in full view of boaters and passing drivers.
We are just on the Vincent Thomas Bridge and there’s a guy that looks like he’s just about to jump off … he’s jumped, he’s jumped, [off] the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro!’said one 911 caller.
Another witness reported the fatal leap to 911 operators, and was then transferred to a fire dispatcher. During the transfer, she could be heard gasping: ‘Oh my God.’
The caller said: ‘He was a bald white guy. Oh my gosh, he just jumped off the bridge. We actually witnessed the whole thing.’
Motorists driving over the bridge reported seeing a black Toyota Prius, lights still flashing, parked on the side, as an older white male climbed a pole before leaping more than 185 feet into the water.
Scott had been preparing to do a sequel to his 1986 Tom Cruise hit Top Gun.
He and Cruise were spotted in Fallon, Nevada — where the Navy’s Top Gun program had been based before moving to San Diego — meeting with Navy officials, a week before the suicide.