Whitney Houston: Cause of Death Revealed

L.A. coroner: Star accidentally drowned, spurred by heart disease, cocaine.
4:03 | 03/23/12

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Whitney Houston: Cause of Death Revealed
Drugs Jim Morrison once said are a bet with -- -- Forty years after his body was found in a bathtub we have another beloved and tortured artist. Reminds of the stakes about that the results of Whitney Houston's autopsy are in tonight. And they confirm -- -- suspicions of her cocaine use and pull that addiction took both on our mind and her heart's. Here's ABC's Jim. Since the day her body was pulled from the bath -- over Beverly Hills -- It is the diagnosis Whitney Houston's lifestyle had warned. And her family friends and fans and fear. The final cause of death has been established as drowning. Due to. -- erratic heart disease. And cocaine use. There was water in her lungs indicating drowning. Her heart weakened by 60% blockage of our arteries in the final perhaps overriding factor. Whitney Houston's long time weakness for cocaine. Contributing mightily to her death. Her body showing no indication of foul play. Instead telling medical Examiner's that she had long abused drugs and was still using cocaine until the moment she died. It appeared that the cocaine had been used in the time period just probably immediately prior to her. Collapse. Addiction specialist doctor drew kids equaling Nightline tonight it's an outcome he has -- too often among drug use hours. Whenever an -- dies prematurely and we know they're using she was drinking. It's in the attic that photos obtained by splash taken the night of Houston's death as she dressed for a pre Grammy Award dinner show signs of some drinking. No cocaine was found in the sweet but doctor drew says -- toxicology report paints a vivid picture of what happened that night. She was in severe relapse. She should not have been on a medication like xanax that may be in effect -- led to her -- -- should not have been drinking the night before that if somebody in relapse. And somebody with a history of cocaine who's using those substances will inevitably get back to cocaine which in fact we now have evidence she did. It's unlikely says doctor drew the Houston fell asleep under the influence of cocaine a speed drug. Instead it probably caused her heart to pump too fast. The cocaine probably caused increase oxygen demand by the muscle some sort of coronary spasm perhaps a clot in the artery that is all old. Prior to her death so they don't specifically see that that we know can happen from cocaine. The Houston family was informed before the -- office released its findings and tonight her sister in law and manager pat Houston. Issued this statement we are saddened to learn of the toxicology results although we are glad to now have -- Patricia used -- was there when Whitney died and later on Oprah's next chapter told Winfrey what she saw. I heard screams. And I saw. The hair stylist dropped to her knees. A woman opened her door. And -- is everything all right I sit down -- -- weren't. But it was too late in like many of Houston's friends she had thought the bad times were over. Telling by now a week being Oprah Winfrey. We always afraid of getting a phone call or. Hearing that this is the -- that it's happened if things hadn't changed -- but the moves have we're changing. It was not her first attempt at recovery. The singer herself telling Diane Sawyer in 2002. I can't tell you -- perfect timing and because every every says it's day by day. -- -- and yeah yeah yeah. But now do you say not at all I can say I think I'm -- sings acts. -- can tell you that. And that's that's -- his. A person who wants to die. For the person who has life and wants to live. Houston divorced her rap singing husband Bobby Brown. At the time of her death the person closest to her was her child Bobbi Kristina who told Oprah on that same program that her mother was maligned and misunderstood. Everything -- had people are saying about it all that all that negativity. It's it is garbage -- that's not mother. But doctor drew says it's not unusual for an addict to mislead family. -- not surprising for them to deny continued drug use addicts. All lie that's a feature of their disease making tonight's final medical findings hard for her family and friends to hear. But buried and that autopsy report is the unavoidable conclusion. That for this great and troubled star. It was her addiction the remained her biggest enemy. And her greatest love -- ball. For Nightline I'm --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":15983822,"title":"Whitney Houston: Cause of Death Revealed","duration":"4:03","description":"L.A. coroner: Star accidentally drowned, spurred by heart disease, cocaine.","url":"/Nightline/video/whitney-houston-death-revealed-15983822","section":"Nightline","mediaType":"default"}