George Michael’s death on Christmas Day was related to his renewed used of hard drugs, a childhood friend said Tuesday.
“Hard drugs had been back in his life but it wasn’t heroin,” Andros Georgiou told the BBC’s “Victoria Derbyshire” show. When pushed for more details, he said that the singer was taking “cocaine … and crack was one of his favorite drugs.”
When asked by host Victoria Derbyshire what he meant when he said Michael’s death was an accident, Georgiou said: “He took too much of something, mixed with antidepressants and other drugs that he was on, with alcohol … I think his heart just stopped beating.”
The British pop star died on Dec. 25 at age 53.
Initial reports said that he passed away peacefully in his sleep at his London home. The post-mortem examination was “inconclusive,” according to police, and more tests are being carried out to determine exactly what led to his death, which is not being treated as suspicious, the BBC reported.
Georgiou, who grew up with Michael and said he was like a cousin, told BBC host Derbyshire that he didn’t think his friend committed suicide.
“I believe he had suicidal thoughts, because his mental health was all over the place. But I don’t believe this was suicide,” he said.
He also said that a lot of untruths have been reported since Michael died, including that he was taking heroin. Georgiou called those allegations “absolute rubbish,” adding, “I know that was the one drug he never touched.”
The former music producer toured with the “Careless Whisper” singer until 1998, when they fell out. But he said he now wants “to get to the truth of what happened, exactly what was in his blood at the time, who gave it [the drugs] to him, why did he have it again.”
He said he had spoken to people who were close to the star towards the end of his life and believed Michael, “was trying to lead a normal life again, and I believe he was dragged back into the dark side.”
Michael, who was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou to a Greek Cypriot restaurateur and his wife, first emerged as a hit-maker with Andrew Ridgeley in the pop duo Wham! in the early ’80s. Their early hits included the songs “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Careless Whisper” and “Last Christmas.”
But he became a true pop icon after going solo in 1987, when his album “Faith” sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. In the span of his career, Michael sold more than 100 million records.
Michael won two Grammys among eight nominations.