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Barry and Honey Sherman family slam rumours over deaths in Toronto

By Tim Smith

The family of a Canadian billionaire and his wife found dead in "suspicious" circumstances has criticised speculation about the case.

The bodies of Barry and Honey Sherman were discovered in the basement of their Toronto home by officers responding to a medical call. They were found by a real estate agent.

Their deaths were being treated as suspicious, according to Constable David Hopkinson from the city's police force.

Canadian media reported that the case is being investigated as a possible murder-suicide, but this was disputed in a family statement.

"Our parents shared an enthusiasm for life and commitment to their family and community totally inconsistent with the rumours regrettably circulated in the media as to the circumstances surrounding their deaths," it read.

The statement went on to call for a "thorough, intensive and objective criminal investigation" and for the media to stop reporting on the cause of the deaths until the investigation was finished.

One of Canada's richest men, Mr Sherman was the founder and chairman of pharmaceutical giant Apotex, which employs more than 10,000 people and sells generic medicines around the world.

A statement from the company said: "We've been informed of the tragic news that Barry and Honey Sherman have unexpectedly passed away.

"All of us at Apotex are deeply shocked and saddened by this news and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time."

Toronto mayor John Tory said he was "shocked and heartbroken" by Mr and Mrs Sherman's deaths, paying tribute to the pair on Twitter.

"Barry and Honey were kind, good people who will be greatly missed," he said.

"The philanthropic and economic contributions they have made to Toronto put them in a class of their own."

He added: "I hope that investigation will be able to provide answers for all of us who are mourning this tremendous loss."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also tweeted his condolences to friends and family of the Shermans.

Mr Sherman (75) founded Apotex in 1974, turning it into the one of the world's largest pharmaceutical producers.

He was estimated to have a personal fortune of around £2.7bn.

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