Foul play ruled out in Getty’s death

The oil for­tune heir died of in­testi­nal hem­or­rhag­ing from ul­cers, coro­ner says.

Los Angeles Times - - THE STATE - By Matt Hamil­ton matt.hamil­ton@latimes.com Twit­ter: @Mat­tHjourno

An­drew Getty, an heir to the Getty oil for­tune who was found dead this spring in his Hol­ly­wood Hills home, had toxic lev­els of metham­phetamine in his body and had heart dis­ease, ac­cord­ing to a coro­ner’s re­port ob­tained Tues­day by the Los An­ge­les Times.

But of­fi­cials with the Los An­ge­les County coro­ner’s of­fice con­cluded that the 47year-old’s death was ul­ti­mately caused by in­testi­nal hem­or­rhag­ing from ul­cers. There was no ev­i­dence of foul play, of­fi­cials said.

Getty was the grand­son of J. Paul Getty, the miserly oil baron, and the son of San Fran­cisco so­cialites Ann and Gor­don P. Getty, who con­firmed his March 31 death in a state­ment and re­quested pri­vacy.

The abrupt death re­newed in­ter­est in the fam­ily, whose tragedies and ec­cen­tric­i­ties are al­most as well known as the mas­sive for­tune that made them fa­mous.

Getty’s oc­ca­sional girl­friend, Lanessa DeJonge, 32, told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that he con­sumed an “8 ball,” or about 3.5 grams of metham­phetamine, per day, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Near his bed in the Mont­calm Av­enue com­pound were three glass pipes used to smoke nar­cotics and two used sy­ringes, the re­port said. At the foot of his bed was a plas­tic con­tainer of sushi along with a f lat-screen TV that had video feeds from the home’s sur­veil­lance cam­eras, the coro­ner’s in­ves­ti­ga­tor wrote.

A slew of pre­scrip­tion drugs were also found in his bed­room, in­clud­ing an­tibi­otics, blood pres­sure med­i­ca­tion, testos­terone in­jec­tions and Norco, a com­bi­na­tion of ac­etaminophen and hy­drocodone, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Few peo­ple had seen or heard from Getty in the days lead­ing up to his death.

DeJonge, who had a room in the home, last saw him alive March 29, two days be­fore he was found dead. Getty’s per­sonal as­sis­tant had last seen him alive five days be­fore. The night be­fore Getty was found naked, his as­sis­tant knocked on his bed­room door but didn’t hear a re­ply — which was not out of the norm, the as­sis­tant told in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

About 2:20 p.m., DeJonge found Getty ly­ing in the door­way of his bath­room and called po­lice. Paramedics re­spond­ing to the eightbed­room man­sion pro­nounced him dead shortly af­ter 2:30 p.m., ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Spread across Getty’s lower body were sev­eral un­spent shot­gun shells, of­fi­cials said. Blood was smeared across his right leg, on the floor and in the toi­let, and a stream of blood had flowed from where Getty’s head partly sat in a side­ways laun­dry bas­ket, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Given the blood, of­fi­cers took DeJonge to a po­lice sta­tion for ques­tion­ing. The cou­ple fre­quently squab­bled in re­cent years and Getty filed a re­strain­ing or­der against her two weeks be­fore his death, al­leg­ing that she kicked and hit him re­peat­edly, ac­cord­ing to the court doc­u­ments.

Of­fi­cials from the Los An­ge­les Po­lice Depart­ment and the coro­ner’s of­fice said there was no sign of foul play.

Getty’s death added another chap­ter to a fam­ily history marked by high drama.

When J. Paul Getty’s 12year-old son died of a brain tu­mor in 1958, the bil­lion­aire oil baron did not at­tend the boy’s fu­neral.

Another son died in 1973 af­ter an over­dose de­scribed as a sus­pected sui­cide.

That same year, 16-yearold J. Paul Getty III — An­drew Getty’s cousin — was kid­napped and held for ran­som for more than five months.

His grand­fa­ther ini­tially re­fused to pay the ran­som, but af­ter the ab­duc­tors mailed the boy’s sev­ered right ear to his fam­ily, they handed over $2.8 mil­lion for his re­lease.

In 1999, An­drew Getty’s fa­ther con­firmed that he had a sec­ond fam­ily he had kept se­cret for more than a decade. Gor­don Getty — a phi­lan­thropist and com­poser — ad­mit­ted that he had three daugh­ters af­ter they filed court pa­pers ask­ing for their fa­ther’s fa­mous last name.

The sec­ond fam­ily be­came tabloid fod­der — es­pe­cially be­cause Gor­don Getty re­mained mar­ried to his wife, Ann — but had long been some­thing of an open se­cret among San Fran­cisco’s elite so­cial cir­cles.

An­drew Rork Getty was born in San Fran­cisco and was raised in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

He stud­ied film at USC and later, New York Univer­sity, where he grad­u­ated in 1990.

He had an affin­ity for cheesy hor­ror movies and was known for his vivid pow­ers of rec­ol­lec­tion and cap­ti­vat­ing sto­ries, ac­cord­ing to an obit­u­ary pub­lished in The Times.

Michael Robin­son Chavez Los An­ge­les Times

A CORO­NER’S van car­ry­ing the body of An­drew Getty leaves his home in March. An au­topsy found heart dis­ease and toxic lev­els of metham­phetamine.

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