LOS ANGELES, Aug. 21 (UPI) — British director Tony Scott’s widow said she believed her husband, who committed suicide, did not have brain cancer, prompting ABC News to back off its report.
Actress Donna Wilson Scott and other family members told investigators they had no knowledge of the malignant disease in Scott, the Los Angeles Times, KABC-TV, Los Angeles, and celebrity Web site TMZ reported.
“The family told us it is incorrect that he has inoperable brain cancer,” Los Angeles County Chief Coroner Craig Harvey told the Times.
Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said essentially the same thing to KABC.
Scott, 68, had just completed a new movie, and there had been no public reports of health problems.
ABC News, which made the original report, cited the KABC report of the coroner’s account in its revised report headlined, “Tony Scott Brain Cancer Report Appears in Doubt.”
The network added it was unable to reach Scott’s family to confirm the assistant chief coroner’s statement.
ABC reported Monday Scott had “inoperable brain cancer,” citing a source close to Scott.
The New York Post reported the director of such films as “Top Gun,” “Days of Thunder” and “Crimson Tide” had been treated for cancer and recently suffered a relapse.
Scott recently underwent surgery, which he told people was a hip operation, but friends feared it was a relapse, a source close to the director told the Post.
“He wasn’t depressed. He was a lovely guy,” the source said. “On Sundays, everyone went to his house. There would be the guy who worked in his local restaurant sitting by the pool by Michael Caine.”
Another source told the Post: “He had been in the hospital earlier this summer, in the past few months, and he had been recuperating. The official story was it was a hip operation, but people suspected he underwent another cancer operation.”
The coroner’s office said it had not determined if Scott had any health problems. It said it would not have a final cause of death until toxicology and other tests are completed in several weeks.
TMZ separately reported the director’s final moments, before he jumped 185 feet to his death from a bridge in Los Angeles Harbor Sunday, were captured on video by multiple cameras — and those videos are now being peddled for money.
Several people in cars “reached for their cellphone cameras when they noticed a man climbing over a fence on the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro in the middle of the day” and recorded Scott jumping and plummeting to his death, the Web site said.
“He was on the roadway close to the fence looking around. He was looking around and fumbling with something at his feet. He looked nervous,” witness David Silva told People magazine. “I thought it was some extreme-sports guy.”
Scott “paused a couple of seconds and then began to climb the fence,” Silva told the magazine. “He put his foot on the top of the fence and paused again. And then he threw himself off. I immediately thought, that guy is dead.”
The footage of the suicide leap was also captured by a surveillance camera from a nearby business, TMZ said.