Belfast Telegraph

Addiction expert challenges George Michael's 'natural death'

The TV doctor insists the singer's history of substance abuse weakened his heart muscles and led to his death.

Top U.S. addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky has taken issue with George Michael's official cause of death, insisting the pop star clearly did not die of natural causes.

The Careless Whisper singer was found dead at his home in Oxfordshire, England on Christmas Day (25Dec16), and earlier this week (beg06Mar17) senior coroner Darren Salter revealed the star's demise was caused by heart disease, specifically dilated cardiomyopathy and myocarditis, as well as fatty liver.

"Inquiries into the death of George Michael have been concluded and the final post-mortem report received," Salter said in a statement to the BBC. "As there is a confirmed natural cause of death, being dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver, the investigation is being discontinued and there is no need for an inquest or any further enquiries."

Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart that causes the muscle to become stretched and thin rendering it unable to pump blood around the body efficiently, while myocarditis refers to inflammation of the heart muscle.

Dr. Drew, has challenged the coroner's verdict, insisting Michael's passing was not natural.

"A natural cause of death is ageing or maybe a cardiac arrest," he tells TMZ, "but cardiomyopathy is a specific disease; that's not a natural cause of death in that age group... That's inaccurate. That's factually not consistent with what the pathologist reported.

"That's an intrinsic disease of the (heart) muscle that a 53-year-old man should not have."

Pinsky insists Michael did not "die of addiction directly", but suggests his death was caused by years of substance abuse.

George Michael's friends and family members are now planning the singer's funeral.

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