It's been six months since Carrie Fisher passed away, but public interest in her death is far from over. The release of a coroner's report revealed a number of substances were found in her system following her death, including heroin and cocaine.
While some fans have reacted with shock and even judgement, Fisher's brother, Todd, has spoken out on the matter to ET — and he's got an important message for his sister's fans:
"I would tell you, from my perspective that there’s certainly no news that Carrie did drugs."
But he's not the only one who shouldn't find the idea of his sister taking drugs surprising. After all, Carrie Fisher has been far from subtle about her history with drugs — and that's definitely not a bad thing.
"I Can't Believe Carrie Fisher Did Drugs!" Said Nobody, Ever
Carrie Fisher has always been open about her past with drugs. She was just as well-known for her candid accounts of her complicated life as she was for her role as Princess Leia, and being up-front about her substance use was a big part of that. As her daughter, Billie Lourd, told People:
"She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases."
The "diseases" Fisher's daughter refers to are mental illness and drug addiction. While there's endless debate over whether substance addiction can really be classified as a disease, it's a condition than afflicted Fisher for much of her life. Drugs and Hollywood tend to go hand-in-hand, and she's just one of many celebrities who confessed to battling addiction throughout their career.
But what set #CarrieFisher apart was her humorous approach to these topics. While other stars may admit to their past struggles with addiction with a sombre, almost ashamed tone (don't forget that social stigma!), Fisher was never apologetic.
She penned the semi-autobiographical novel, Postcards from the Edge, following an accidental overdose from prescription medication in the eighties. She accused Donald Trump of being a coke fiend, citing her past as an "expert." She once spent a romantic weekend away with her then-fiancé, Dan Akroyd, where they both tripped on acid the entire time. She was buried in a Prozac-shaped urn, for god's sake.
Oh, and let's not forget this absolute gem of a response to the suggestion that she sported a "coke nail" whilst filming Return of the Jedi:
Carrie Fisher's Death Is Still Just As Tragic
Carrie Fisher didn't glorify her drug use, but she was always honest about it. She never shied away from talking about something that was a big part of her life. More importantly, she often used drugs like cocaine to self-medicate for her bipolar disorder — something her brother also commented on:
"Without her drugs, maybe she would have left long ago. I am not shocked that part of her health was affected by drugs."
Coping with mental illness by self-medicating with anything is never a good idea, but it's what she did nonetheless. Living with a mental illness is tough, and the coping mechanisms used to deal with it aren't always going to be ideal. Fisher did have a team of doctors working with her, and her brother insisted they were "doing their best to cure a mental disorder."
It's important to note that while Fisher's death was attributed in part to drugs (the coroner concluded she used cocaine 72 hours prior to getting on the plane), her death was a result of a number of health issues — specifically sleep apnea and a heart condition. Yes, taking drugs aggravated those issues; but persecuting someone who died for choosing to take drugs — especially when it's a method of getting through a particularly rough patch with their mental health — is both unrealistic and sanctimonious.
In the meantime, her brother has expressed his sincere gratitude for the kind words his family has received from the public:
"We are touched by the outpouring and overwhelming support from her fans. The few negative comments are crushed by them, they come to her defense and allow us to rest."
What are your thoughts on the drugs found in Carrie Fisher's system?