Tony Scott with his third wife Donna Wilson. (AFP)
Los Angeles, Aug. 21: The mystery surrounding the death of Tony Scott, the British film director, deepened today after his wife reportedly said she was unaware her Top Gun husband had brain cancer.
American reports had suggested the 68 year-old committed suicide by leaping from a Los Angeles suspension bridge after he was diagnosed as terminally ill. But it was claimed today that his widow, actress Donna Wilson, has told police that her husband and the father of their twin boys, did not have any major health problems.
Scott, famed for other films including Beverly Hills Cop II, Crimson Tide and Enemy of the State, died on Sunday after plunging almost 200 feet from the Vincent Thomas Bridge, in the city’s south.
He was said to be wearing the signature faded-red baseball cap that he wore on set while directing Hollywood blockbusters stretching back to Top Gun in 1986. Investigators found a suicide note in his office, the contents of which have not been disclosed.
Scott, originally from North Shields, North Tyneside, was preparing to team up with Tom Cruise for a sequel to his biggest hit, Top Gun. Many tributes from across Hollywood were made yesterday, with actors who worked on Scott’s action films describing him as an energising spirit.
Within hours of his death being made public, a source close to the Crimson Tide director told ABC News that he was suffering from “inoperable” brain cancer.
It remains unclear when he was diagnosed but he was photographed looking bleary-eyed as he left a restaurant in Beverly Hills on July 23.
Scott had previously been treated for cancer and recently suffered a relapse, the New York Post reported. At the time, the hospital visit was thought to have been to do with hip surgery. The director was known to have had a hip replacement in 2005.
But according to TMZ, the celebrity website, his third wife has told investigators she had no knowledge of his latest claimed illness. She told police that any information that her husband suffered from a brain cancer or a tumour were “absolutely false” and that he did not suffer from any serious illness.
Craig Harvey, chief investigator for the coroner’s office, said today: “A family spokesman told us late this afternoon that the information was not true, but we will be looking at everything.”
“The family told us it is incorrect that he has inoperable brain cancer.” An autopsy has been carried out but results have been deferred for up to eight weeks.
The Los Angeles police department has opened an investigation and an autopsy was conducted yesterday, LA county coroner’s office spokesman Ed Winter. The findings were not released, pending results of toxicology tests.
An LA county coroner’s officials today declined to say if Scott was ill. A spokesman for Scott did not respond to requests for comment.
At 12.35pm on Sunday, Scott parked his black Toyota Prius in the east-bound lane of the Vincent Thomas Bridge, 30 miles south of his home in Beverly Hills, which has been used as a backdrop in several films. He then scaled an 8 foot fence and fell 185 feet into the waters of a navigation channel.