This year hasn't been an easy one for Billie Lourd, who, right before ringing in 2017, suffered two major losses: the death of her mother, 60-year-old actress Carrie Fisher, and her grandmother, 84-year-old actress Debbie Reynolds. Now the Associated Press has reported that the precise cause of Fisher’s untimely passing could not be determined.
The coroner’s report revealed that Fisher died of sleep apnea and “other factors.” As for those other factors, the report stated that Fisher “showed signs of having taken multiple drugs,” which undoubtedly contributed to her death. Lourd agrees that those were factors and in a statement to People let fans know that her mom would have wanted people to know that.
“My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life," she wrote. "She ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases."
Lourd wrote that her mom "talked about the shame that torments people and their families confronted by these diseases" and would want people to know there was no shame in any of it. “I know my Mom, she’d want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles," she wrote. "Seek help, fight for government funding for mental health programs. Shame and those social stigmas are the enemies of progress to solutions and ultimately a cure. Love you Momby.”
In Fisher’s one-woman stage production, Wishful Drinking, which was turned into a book in 2008, she gave a funny yet sobering recount of her life and experiences with alcohol and drug abuse. Years before the film and book, the Star Wars icon also opened up to Psychology Today, about her struggles with substance abuse and manic depression. "Drugs made me feel more normal," she said. Knowing that, it's no surprise that Lourd wanted to take the same transparent approach as her later mother.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, please call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for free and confidential information.