Billy Mays’ autopsy blames cocaine use for heart disease, but family was “unaware”

Pitchmen star and Pitchman Billy Mays’ death last month was caused by his cocaine usage, according to his autopsy. The Hillsborough County medical examiner’s autopsy revealed “Mays died form a lethal arrhythmia of the heart caused by hypertensive and arteriosclerotic heart disease” and that his use of cocaine “caused or contributed to” his heart disease.

The report “revealed Mays had taken cocaine in the days before his death. He was also taking hydrocodone, oxycodone and tramadol by prescription for hip pain,” according to the St. Petersburg Times. He was not using cocaine when he died.

However, his family isn’t convinced. “We were totally unaware of any nonprescription drug usage and are actively considering an independent evaluation of the autopsy results,” Billy Mays’ wife Deborah said in a statement that called the cocaine information a “speculative conclusion.”

Autopsy finds that TV pitchman Billy Mays had used cocaine, which contributed to his fatal heart condition [St. Petersburg Times]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.