John Gilbert Getty, the grandson of billionaire oil tycoon J. Paul Getty and heir to the estimated $5billion family fortune, died from complications related to a fentanyl overdose, it has been revealed.
Getty, a musician, passed away at the age of 52 on November 20 and his body was found in a suite at the upscale Hotel Emma in San Antonio, Texas.
He died of cardiomyopathy and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which were complicated by fentanyl toxicity, according to the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office in Texas, as per TMZ.
The medical examiner’s office said the overdose was accidental.
John’s death was the latest tragedy to strike the Getty family.
His death came just two months after his mother Anne Gilbert died of a heart attack at the age of 79 and nearly six years after John’s brother Andrew died of a hemorrhage in 2015 with a toxic level of methamphetamine in his system.
John Gilbert Getty, the 52-year-old grandson of billionaire oil tycoon J. Paul Getty and heir to the estimated $5billion family fortune, died from complications related to a fentanyl overdose, it has been revealed
John Getty’s body was discovered at the $500 a night suite at Hotel Emma in San Antonio by staff who went in to check in on him after they couldn’t get a hold of him past the noon check out time. When they found him he was sitting in an ‘Indian style’ on his bed with his eyes and mouth open. A staffer found Getty and said he was ‘cold to the touch and was unable to wake him.’
An exterior view of the Historic Hotel Emma in San Antonio above
John Gilbert Getty pictured with his daughter Ivy Getty
John was one of seven children born to Gordon Getty, once the sole benefactor of the Getty family’s $5.4billion fortune before he split it up into six separate trusts in 1985.
Gordon, 86, is the only surviving child of five sons born to the oil tycoon, and is among his many heirs which include several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
John Getty’s body was discovered at the $500 a night hotel suite by staff who went in to check in on him after they couldn’t get a hold of him past the noon check out time.
When they found him he was sitting in an ‘Indian style’ on his bed with his eyes and mouth open. A staffer found Getty and said he was ‘cold to the touch and was unable to wake him.’
John Gilbert Getty was the heir to the family fortune which goes back to oil tycoon J. Paul Getty (pictured left) and is estimated to be worth more than $5billion. John’s father Gordon Getty (right), a son of the family patriarch, announced the 52-year-old’s death
The family fortune made by oil tycoon J. Paul Getty is now shared among dozens of descendants, but the family has also been struck by a series of tragedies which has led some to speak of a Getty ‘curse’
John’s death comes nearly six years after his brother Andrew, pictured, was found dead at his Hollywood Hills mansion in 2015 aged 47
The Indian-style pose Getty was found in is one often associated with meditation or yoga in which a person sits with their legs tightly crossed, the soles of their feet facing the ceiling. This position is known in yoga as the lotus pose (Padmasana).
According to Getty’s assistant he was in the process of moving from California to San Antonio.
At the time of his death the Getty family shared a tribute to him, describing him as an ‘awesome’ father and beloved musician who leaves behind a daughter and two brothers.
‘With a heavy heart, Gordon Getty announces the death of his son, John Gilbert Getty,’ said a spokesperson for his composer father.
‘John leaves behind his daughter, Ivy Getty, whom he loved beyond measure, and his brothers Peter and Billy. His brother, Andrew, predeceased John. John’s mother, Ann Gilbert Getty, passed this September.
‘John was a talented musician who loved rock and roll. He will be deeply missed.’
John was also the cousin of tragic heir J. Paul Getty III, who was sensationally kidnapped for ransom as a teenager in 1973 and who later suffered a debilitating stroke and died aged 54 nine years ago.
Following her father’s death Ivy Getty shared a series of posts on her Instagram stories with her father, sharing facts about his favorite activities and cities
Ivy Getty pictured with her father John Gilbert Getty above
Ivy Getty, John’s 25-year-old daughter, shared a moving tribute on social media after his death and photos of them together.
Tragic history of the Getty family ‘curse’
ABDUCTION DRAMA: J. Paul Getty III, the grandson of the family patriarch, was sensationally kidnapped in Rome in 1973, aged 16.
When his notoriously tight-fisted grandfather refused to pay ransom, the abductors cut off the boy’s ear and mailed it to his family. Getty eventually relented and paid a $3million ransom.
The teenager survived but began using drugs and suffered a debilitating stroke in his 20s. He died aged 54.
CHILD DEATH: The oil baron’s youngest child, Timothy Ware Getty, suffered a brain tumor aged six and died at the age of 12 in 1958.
Getty’s then-wife Teddy, a former nightclub singer, later wrote in a memoir that the tycoon had admonished her over the boy’s expensive medical bills.
They divorced soon after Timothy’s death, but Teddy lived until 2017 when she died aged 103. Another of Getty’s sons, George, died in a suspected suicide in 1973.
HEROIN DEATH: Talitha Pol, a Dutch actress who married J. Paul Getty Jr in 1966, died of a heroin overdose five years later in 1971.
Pol had lived her own jet-setting life and was the subject of a famous photo with her husband on a Marrakech rooftop in 1969.
SECOND FAMILY: Gordon Getty had his own brush with scandal in 1999 when the father of four sons with his wife, Ann, acknowledged he had a second family in Los Angeles that included three daughters.
The acknowledgement came after the daughters filed court papers to change their last names to Getty.
FOUND DEAD AT HOME: Andrew Getty, another grandson of the oil tycoon, was found dead by his girlfriend at his Hollywood Hills mansion in 2015. He was 47.
Coroners found he had died of an accidental intestinal hemorrhage and also had a toxic level of methamphetamine in his system.
‘My father was awesome- coolest man to ever land on this planet and I will forever be the proudest daughter,’ she wrote.
‘Love you so much Dad….life is cruel sometimes…. I have not one, but two guardian angels watching over me now…here are some of my favorite pictures of him (and selfishly a couple of us).’
John’s death was the latest episode in a long line of tragedies which have led some to speak of a ‘Getty curse’.
While the heirs of the oil tycoon have managed to maintain a significant share of the family fortune, the money has not shielded subsequent generations from drug addiction, premature death, tabloid scandal and violent attacks.
In March 2015, John’s brother Andrew Getty was found dead by his girlfriend at a Hollywood Hills mansion, aged 47.
Los Angeles medical examiners said he died of an accidental gastrointestinal hemorrhage and also had a toxic level of methamphetamine in his system.
Following his death, his father Gordon filed a creditor’s claim for $14.1million because he given his son more than $10million in loans from the family fortune.
He also requested back 55 pieces of art that he had loaned to his son, and repayment for some of his son’s expenses, TMZ reported at the time.
John and Andrew’s father, Gordon lost his brother Timmy to a brain tumor as a child and another to a suspected suicide, while his sister-in-law Talitha Pol died from a heroin overdose.
Pol, a Dutch actress and ‘Bohemian beauty’ with her own jet-setting background, married J. Paul Getty Jr in 1966 but was estranged from him by the time of their death.
Getty Jr, later known as Sir Paul Getty after receiving an honorary knighthood in Britain, was a philanthropist and cricket fan who died in 2003.
In 1973, another of the tycoon’s grandsons, J. Paul Getty III, was kidnapped by Italian gangsters in Rome and held to a ransom which Getty Sr initially refused to pay.
‘I have 14 grandchildren and if I pay one penny ransom, I’ll have 14 kidnapped grandchildren,’ he said.
However, he is eventually thought to have coughed up around $3million after the kidnappers cut off the teenager’s ear and threatened to return him piece by piece.
The episode was made into a 2017 movie, All the Money in the World, which later drew attention because Kevin Spacey was hurriedly edited out after sexual misconduct allegations.
In subsequent years, Getty III began using drugs including cocaine and heroin and in 1981 suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed and nearly blind. He died in 2011.