ME: Ike Turner died of cocaine overdose

Jan. 16, 2008 at 7:54 PM
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SAN DIEGO, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- The San Diego County medical examiner's office said Wednesday the cause of musician Ike Turner's death last month was cocaine overdose.

The drug aggravated Turner's hypertensive cardiovascular disease and pulmonary emphysema, a spokesman for the medical examiner's office told the North County Times.

Turner was 76 when he died Dec. 12 at his San Marcos, Calif., home.

His daughter, Mia, said her family was "in shock" over the toxicity report and she insisted it "overstates the situation."

"Daddy at that point was not doing drugs to the level it leads to believe," Mia Turner told the newspaper, acknowledging her father's drug addiction was "an ongoing struggle."

Although Billy Ray, the drummer with Turner's band, the Kings of Rhythm, said last month he didn't see any drugs or paraphernalia in Turner's house at the time of his death, he noted: "He was a man who knew he was going to pass away and if smoking bud or cocaine gave him solace in his final days, what difference would it be if he had a bottle of bourbon or (the anti-depressant) Paxil?"

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