On Saturday, “True Blood” actor Nelsan Ellis shockingly died at the age of 39 from heart failure.
His family has revealed more details on what caused the heart failure that ultimately led to his death. His manager Emily Gerson Saines said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, "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 8, after four days in Woodhull Hospital, Nelsan was pronounced dead. 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,” the statement continued. "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.”
After news of his death broke, HBO said in a statement, "We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis. Nelsan was a longtime member of the HBO family whose groundbreaking portrayal of Lafayette will be remembered fondly within the overall legacy of 'True Blood.' Nelsan will be dearly missed by his fans and all of us at HBO."