Filmmaker Tony Scott died with anti-depressant, sleep aid in system

Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:52pm EDT
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By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Filmmaker Tony Scott had an anti-depressant and sleep aid in his bloodstream when he leapt to his death from a suspension bridge in August, the Los Angeles County Coroner's office said on Monday.

Preliminary autopsy results confirmed that Scott's death, which baffled investigators and much of Hollywood, was a suicide, caused by blunt force trauma and drowning.

The 68-year-old British-born director of such blockbusters as "Top Gun" and "Beverly Hills Cop II" had therapeutic levels of the anti-depressant Mirtazapine and the prescription sleep-aid Lunesta in his system, coroner's investigators found.

But the findings shed no light on a motive for Scott to commit suicide. A coroner's spokesman said a final report was still two weeks away.

Family members have dismissed early reports that Scott was suffering from inoperable brain cancer and Craig Harvey, operations chief for the coroner, has previously said that there were no obvious signs of a tumor. The preliminary autopsy report made no mention of any evidence of serious illness.

Investigators have offered no theories as to why Scott took his life, and a note he left behind did not explain the suicide.

The last person to see Scott was an onlooker parking his car on the Vincent Thomas Bridge over Los Angeles Harbor, who saw the director leap into the water just after noon on August 19. His body was recovered by law enforcement several hours later.

The bridge, the surface of which clears the harbor's navigation channel by a height of about 185 feet, connects the port district of San Pedro at the southern tip of Los Angeles to Terminal Island in the harbor.   Continued...

British director Tony Scott looks towards the media during a press conference for the production of "Deja Vu," the first major theatrical film to be shot in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, in New Orleans February 2, 2006. REUTERS/Lee Celano