Nelsan Ellis Struggled With Drug and Alcohol Abuse Before Death

Family reveals the 'True Blood' star died of heart failure due to alcohol withdrawal complications.

AceShowbiz - Circumstances around %cNelsan Ellis%' death have been revealed by his family, days after the actor passed away on Saturday, July 8 of heart failure. Through his manager Emily Gerson Saines, his family reveals that the "True Blood" star died from complications of alcohol withdrawal.

"Nelsan's father has bravely agreed for me to share the circumstances of Nelsan's heart failure," the manager says 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."

The statement continues to read, "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," it adds. "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."

Nelsan is best known for his portrayal of Lafayette on HBO's hit vampire series "True Blood". His death was mourned by his former co-stars, including %cAnna Paquin%, %cStephen Moyer%, %cJoe Manganiello%, %cSam Trammell%, %cKristin Bauer% and %cAnna Camp%, as well as other actors like %cOctavia Spencer%, %cGabrielle Union% and %cGabourey Sidibe%.

"True Blood" creator, Alan Ball, sent his condolences as stating, "Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege."

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