January 5, 2010
Johnson & Johnson heiress Casey Johnson was pronounced dead Monday morning at the age of 30. Early reports suggest that Johnson, who was said to be engaged to reality star Tila Tequila, died of natural causes.
LAPD spokesperson Sara Faden tells Usmagazine.com, "At this point ... there was no evidence of foul play. The coroner's office will now take over the investigation and conduct their toxicology screenings."
"The Johnson family is mourning its tragic loss, and asks for privacy during this very difficult time," said a rep for the Johnson family. Casey is survived by family members including her father, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, and a three-year-old daughter, Ava. Johnson adopted the little girl in Kazakhstan in 2007 and was in a protracted battle with her mother, Sale Johnson, for custody of her.
Johnson had battled publicly with substance abuse for years and Tequila reportedly believes she may have died from a prescription drug overdose. She was also a diabetic and, according to TMZ, had been hospitalized at least once in the past year after falling into a diabetic coma.
She also had several run-ins with ex-girlfriends. In November, Johnson was arrested for grand theft after she allegedly stole a handful of items -- including lingerie, jewelry and electronics -- from a former flame. In January 2009, she got into a heated argument with Yahoo socialite Courtenay Semel. Shockingly, a Page Six source alleged Semel lit Johnson's hair on fire. Semel, who has also dated Tequila, later denied the hair-torching reports.
Friends of the heiress have also commented on her untimely death. Paris Hilton posted on Twitter Monday night: "I feel so sad right now, my heart is in pain. Just lost a longtime friend. My heart goes out to her family. R.I.P. Casey Johnson Love you ... In bed crying, looking at baby pictures of Casey, Nicky and I. I feel so upset. I feel like I've lost a sister. My heart is broken. Miss her."
Tequila confirmed the news of Johnson's death earlier in the evening with a post on Twitter, saying "R.I.P. my Angel ... we will Marry when I see U in Heaven."
PopEater's Rob Shuter, who knew Johnson, says he last saw her eight months ago, and that "she was a lost little girl who just wanted to be loved. Unlike Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, who have found happiness, Casey always seemed a troubled soul."
Shuter says that Johnson "had a difficult relationship with her family's huge wealth -- loving the life it gave her but making everything she did feel worthless. She had the 'why bother' attitude. Nothing she ever did could live up to what her family had done. She once described her family money as the 'golden handcuffs,' which made me really sad. She was the ultimate little lost rich girl."