David Carradine's Widow Files Wrongful Death Suit

Wife says "Kung Fu" actor would be alive if he hadn't been left alone.

June 04, 2010, 10:47 AM

June 4, 2010— -- A year after "Kung Fu" actor David Carradine died from a dangerous sex practice, his wife has filed suit, claiming he would still be alive if he hadn't been left alone in a hotel that night.

Anne Carradine filed a wrongful death lawsuit Thursday against the French production company that was handling the actor's last film.

Carradine was in Bangkok shooting the film "Stretch" when he was found dead on June 4, 2009 in his hotel room closet with ropes tied around his neck and genitals -- a likely victim of auto-erotic asphyxia.

Celebrity medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden, who was hired by the family to do a private autopsy on the actor, determined that Carradine died from accidental asphyxiation.

But Anne Carradine claims her husband's death could have been avoided if the production company, MK2 SA, had provided the actor with "all the best amenities" and "sufficient assistance."

Carradine's attorney Mark Geragos declined to comment and MK2 did not respond immediately to ABCNews.com's request for comment.

"Defendants were negligent in failing to follow industry standard and provide David Carradine, the performer, with sufficient assistant during the course of filming Stretch in Bangkok, Thailand," the lawsuit, obtained by ABCNews.com, stated.

"As a result of the negligence of Defendants, David Carradine died while performing acting services for MK2's film 'Stretch' in Bangkok, Thailand," the suit continued.

The suit claims that Carradine was supposed to have dinner that night with the film's director but the assistant responsible for his schedule and transportation to the set and meetings left him behind at the hotel after failing to reach him.

When Carradine reached the assistant an hour later he was told "they were already across town and David Carradine would have to make his own arrangements that evening," the suit stated.

Carradine had only been in the city three days.

Anne Carradine also alleges in the suit that she has had difficulty collecting on an insurance policy MS2 was required to have for the actor.

Carradine was married five times and was the father of two children.

One of his ex-wives, Marina Anderson, claimed in court documents from his divorce that Carradine had a long history of "deviant sexual behavior which was potentially deadly."

In a a sworn statement filed in 2003, Anderson also alleged that Carradine carried on an "incestuous relationship with a very close family member."

The court documents do not include details about Carradine's "deviant sexual behavior" or name the family member with whom Anderson alleges he had a relationship.

Carradine's Best-Known Roles: 'Kung Fu' and 'Kill Bill'

Born in 1936 in Hollywood, Calif., Carradine came from a showbiz family. His father was actor John Carradine, and his brothers were actors Bruce, Robert and Keith Carradine.

Of primarily Irish ancestry, Carradine's ambiguous features landed him a lifetime of roles playing a range of ethnicities, although he was often cast as Chinese.

Carradine was perhaps best known for his role as Caine, a Chinese martial-arts master wandering the American West in the 1970s television series "Kung Fu." Though he had starred in more than 100 films, his career was revived in Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" (2003) and "Kill Bill II" (2004) in which he played a steely assassin.

The actor spoke openly about his earlier abuse of drugs and alcohol but had reportedly remained sober for several years. Friends and family said he had no history of depression.

"I didn't get into drinking till I was in my 40s, and by that time I had stepped away from the rest of drugs," he told the Irish Times in 2004.

"There was only a period of a few years when I was drinking too much. I had a friend who was a mentor, and he suddenly said, 'I've never seen you abuse a substance before.' I said, 'Am I doing that now?' And I was. That was spring of 1996. I like to think that I stopped drinking on St. Patrick's Day, but it was actually a month later," he told the paper.

ABCNews.com's Russell Goldman contributed to this report.

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