Family of Darius Campbell Danesh reveal how he died

Family of Darius Campbell Danesh reveal he was in ‘good spirits’ as he had dinner with friends the night before he died but he was suffering with ‘severe nerve pain’ from car accident and treating it with ‘marijuana and chloroethane’

The bereft family of Darius Campbell Danesh today revealed the Scottish singer and actor was treating chronic pain with marijuana, painkillers and an anaesthetic drug you inhale when he died at the age of 41.

Darius was found unresponsive in his US apartment opposite the world famous Mayo Clinic specialist treatment centre in Rochester, Minnesota, in August last year.

His family said today that Rochester Police Department’s investigation into his death has concluded and they have decided to share more details about the star’s final days including a dinner with close friends on the night before he died where he was ‘in a lot of pain’ but ‘in good spirits’.

The Pop Idol and West End star suffered nerve damage to his neck and chronic pain following two car accidents, which was progressively ‘getting worse’, relatives said, adding that he suffered a respiratory arrest ‘having inhaled chloroethane using a bag’. His heart ‘doubled in size’, they said.

He was found dead just before midday the following day, on August 11 2022, by hotel staff in the apartment complex where he was staying across from the Mayo Clinic, which is widely considered the best hospital in the US. Darius famously declined an operation on his neck in 2010 because doctors told him there was a risk it would affect his vocal cords.

‘In the days leading up to his death, Darius had been suffering from severe nerve pain in his neck following car accidents in 2010 and 2021, which was progressively ‘getting worse’. He had taken pain medication, marijuana and chloroethane to manage the intensity of the pain prior to his death’, his family said today.

Darius Campbell Danesh died from inhaling anesthetic drug ethyl chloride in a tragic incident. His family has revealed he was managing neck pain from two car crashes with marijuana and pain killers before he died aged just 41

Heartbreaking: The Pop Idol alum, who rose to fame on the 2002 version of the show, was found dead aged 41 in his Minnesota apartment near the Mayo Clinic on August 11

Darius and Natasha Henstridge at a barbecue at The Project Beach House in Malibu, California, on August 9, 2008

‘The night before Darius passed, he had dinner with close friends, who reported that “Darius was in a lot of pain, but he was in good spirits when he was with us”. They stayed together until the early hours of the morning and made plans to meet the following day. When Darius did not show up and could not be reached, the hotel staff were asked to check on him.

‘Around 11.50am on August 11, Darius was found unresponsive in bed by the hotel staff in the apartment where he was staying, having inhaled chloroethane using a bag, which led to respiratory arrest. 

‘The Rochester Fire and Police Department pronounced Darius deceased shortly after at 12.01pm. The autopsy report also concluded that Darius’ heart was twice the expected size.

‘This may have contributed to his respiratory arrest’, the statement said.

MailOnline has asked Darius’ family to comment.  

Mr Danesh died accidentally after inhaling chloroethane – also known as ethyl chloride – which is an anesthetic and can also be used recreationally.

He was in a relationship with Lauren Cheek at the time. He was previously married to Natasha Henstridge.

Autopsy documents last year listed ‘toxic effects of chloroethane’ as well as ‘suffocation’ as having contributed to his death, the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed.

The death was later ruled an accident by the medical examiner.

A statement released by Campbell Danesh’s family last year previously said local police had found ‘no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances’.

Darius Campbell Danesh pictured with his ex-wife Natasha Henstridge and her two sons

Heartbreaking: The Pop Idol alumni (pictured with Lauren Cheek), who rose to fame on the 2002 version of the show, was found dead aged 41 in his Minnesota apartment near the Mayo Clinic on August 11 2022

Report: His family said he was 'suffering from chronic neck pain' after a car accident. Pictured with his mother Dr Avril Danesh and father Dr Booth Danesh

When he died he was staying at a block called the Berkman apartments. It is described as Rochester’s ‘premier address for elegant short-term and long-term furnished suites and residential living’. 

The majority of those who live in the apartment block, which has around 270 long-term rentals and 75 short-term or nightly rentals, either work or are treated at the Mayo Clinic’s Saint Marys Campus. 

It is not known if Danesh was receiving treatment there – but given his neck problems and the experts across the road, he may have done.

The medical facility, which opened in 1889, has 70 operating rooms, ten intensive care units and 1,265 beds and specialises in cardiac treatment, transplants, psychiatry, neurosurgery and rehabilitation.

Last year the heartbreaking police dispatch call revealing the moment the star was found unresponsive in the apartment block emerged.

Rochester Police Department said it responded to a ‘deceased person call’ at 11.53am on August 11 2022 at The Berkman, and the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office identified the person as Darius.

According to reports, a dispatch call was placed when a ‘medical’ team was requested for a ‘possible deceased’ person. 

Another call was allegedly made minutes later from an operator saying: ‘No need for them to respond. We’ll be waiting for RPD [Rochester Police Department] to arrive on the scene. We’ll secure the residence.’  

Darius was thought to have been just weeks away from a reunion tour with his former Pop Idol co-stars, with sources close to him claiming that he had been hugely ‘excited’ for the homecoming and UK comeback trip.

The West End star was found unresponsive in a US apartment opposite the Mayo Clinic specialist treatment centre (pictured) on August 11. File image


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