Monday, October 07, 2013

River Phoenix Could Have Lived

A new book is out about the life and death of River Phoenix. After interviewing lots of people about the night of his death the author suggests that River would still be alive today if Joaquin Phoenix and River's friends had been less concerned about being busted by the police and more concerned about saving River's life. The author says that if paramedics had been called right away River would have lived. Instead, Joaquin brought River outside the club and insisted everything was fine and that no one should do anything. It was only after River had a seizure that anyone bothered to call 911 and by then it was too late.

57 comments:

Christopher Cruz said...

I hope this isn't true.

Christopher Cruz said...

I meant about Joaquin, btw...

skimpymist said...

He was a hottie and a great actor. Perfect example of what Hollywood does to young talent. Who were these sources though for this article.

Vera L- said...

Ok, even if Joaquin was saying "no, don't call" he's not a doctor, everyone else should have been calling 9-1-1.

j kav said...

don't forget how young Joaquin was at the time. don't try to make it sound like he killed his brother.

texas rose said...

Sure he could've lived if he hadn't been a drugged up dumbshit. No one's fault except for himself.

Karen said...

I'm assuming that Joaquin and the others were high on stuff as well. None of them were probably of the right mind to make a smart decision.

Dasha said...

With addicts, it's not really a matter of if, but more like when.

Amy Sliger said...

1. Nobody, not even a doctor, could possibly know if he would have survived. 2. Joaquin was what 18 when it happened? No, he wasn't possibly terrified and feeling completely helpless that his big brother was dying in the street, it was that he was trying to CYA on a drug charge. Right. Get outta here with that crap.

debbie said...

This is nothing but cruel and hurtful to those who were there. No need to dredge up the "what ifs". Let him rest in peace.

plokzy said...

Or, you know, don't do a seizure-inducing amount of drugs. I'd look into that before fingerprinting a teenager.

No offense to the dude but I have no idea who he is aside from his death. Seems he's more famous as a tragic headline than any work he ever did.

Ms Cool said...

ITA w/ @debbie

@plokzy - you must be pretty young. River was very talented and a big deal.

Tammy said...

I think this happens a lot, and always has. Look at Jimi Hendrix. Probably happens all the time to regular people, too.

Ain't no one's fault but the one who took enough shit to OD.

Tina Mallette said...

Even if it was true, sorry but sometimes people's true nature shows in emergency, what is the point of dredging it up - oh more book sales is why.

Seven of Eleven said...

This book is the stuff of gossip bloggers' dreams. So much dish, so little time.

Del Riser said...

There is always someone willing to make a buck off a celebrity. With the Phoenix brothers you get a twofer, one living, one dead. A book based on what if's that could harm the living is money grubbing evil.

jodi benton said...

Why not blame the person who gave him the drugs? Or River himself for taking them?

No, let's blame his teenage brother who was devastated by his death.

auntliddy said...

I read this before at the whackjob that used to come in heres web site about a year ago. Supposedly if they had told emts what he took they cld have given him some sort of antidote to save him. The phoniexs come from a seriously dysfunctionsl family, involvement in cult and possibly pimped out as young boys to rause money for cult. Is this true? I dont know but wld explain why they all gave serios problems. I agree, tho, joquin was only a kid, river was junkie, they were all scared, i dont fault anyone. It just happened.
The thing that sticks in my craw is jonny depp owns the viper room, drug den to stars, yet he saud he was raising kids in france because america is so decadent. What a f* cking hypocrite!!!!!!

FrenchGirl said...

@Debbie: +1

jodi benton said...

If River didn't know what was in the drink, how would Joaquin have known?

The EMT's would have to be told what drugs he had ingested. According to this, River didn't even ask before ingesting the drugs. How could they have given him an antidote to save him without knowing the drugs ingested?

Amartel said...

I'm a little suspicious of long-after-the-fact "revelations."

Jessi said...

That is the most absurd headline ever!!!

sandybrook said...

I thought Johnny Depp was being blamed for this last week? :(

Gayeld said...

Lots of people would still be alive if they hadn't used drugs.

V said...

The real question the author should ask is who gave River the cocktail. Such a sad story, and poor Joaquin and Rain who watched their brother die on a sidewalk in LA.

Looking at the photo of Rain from the article Seven of Eleven provided, she and Paris Jackson share an uncanny resemblance.

parissucksliterally said...

Jaoquin was 17-18 years old, and high too. It is horrible that River died, and I remember being devastated, but shit, when you take drugs - there is risk.

Let River just rest in peace.

Snit said...

kind of a heavy burden to put on Joaquin. It was a sad loss, and I bet Joaquin thinks of his brother every day and wonders about the what ifs. But at the end of the day, drugs killed River and he himself was responsible.

urban chaos said...

That's cold and uncalled for. No doubt Joaquin is tormented enough about that night- putting the guilt at his feet is shitty when he wasn't the one doing the drugs that resulted in death.

Eloise said...

If this is true (and who knows if it is) it's just one example of how the "War on Drugs" has likely killed more people than it's saved.Even if River couldn't have been saved,there are countless others who could have been if the people they were with hadn't been afraid of being arrested if they called for help.All states should have laws like the NY Good Samaritan Law which provides amnesty to those calling 911 to report potential drug and alcohol overdoses (as well as for the the potential overdose victim(s).

I also agree that this book is shameful exploitation likely based on nothing but speculation.Let River rest in peace.As for Juaquin,I wouldn't wish the pain he must live with on anybody.

Tru Leigh said...

If he had survived, he would have just gone on to OD again. Drug users have a death wish. Only intense therapy can get you out of the drug death spiral.

MrsPMFU said...

Is that Martha Plimpton next to River in that pic?

Margaret said...

I sat next to River in a bar called The Rat where his "band" was playing a couple months before he died. He was so strung out, so dirty (and nodding off) that I didn't even recognize him (a lot of The Rat's regulars fit that description) until I asked the bartender (a friend) where's River? And she pointed to the junkie next to me.

The thing I always think about his death whenever it comes up is that anyone who says "no one knew" is flat out lying.

bored soccer mom said...

Yes that is her. They dated for quite some time. She gave an interview a few years back where she said she broke up with him bc of his addiction. She also said she was furious with his family and friends who stood by and did nothing to help him as his addiction spiraled.

msgirl said...

Interesting about Martha and River. I love her.

This is such a cheap shot and Joaquin, unbelievable. River died because he was an addict and overdosed.

Megley said...

But when your number's up, that's it. Not everyone is supposed to get old.

Eloise said...

Tru Leigh,there are many,many former drug users alive today who have been sober for years.Obviously people who do drugs are putting their lives on the line every time they use but drug addicts can and often do go on to recover and live productive lives.My dad developed a serious drug problem after returning from Vietnam and struggled for years.He's been clean since 1980 and went on to become a successful lawyer(who has done a ton of pro bono work) and an amazing father.Maybe River Phoenix would have ODed again and died anyway. Or maybe this would have been the wake up call he needed to get help and get clean.We'll never know.It just seems callous to me to write off a 22-year-old's life as hopeless,as many seem to be doing in these comments, because he used drugs.

MISCH said...

Awful...

figgy said...

No, when a person takes drugs, they have no one to blame but themselves. Whether they die or end up in the gutter, whatever. Period.

Seven of Eleven said...

I'm really surprised they used the "Joaquin could've saved River" line instead of the one where River says he "made love" at age 4 and was "completely celibate" from ages 10-14. The nasty Chris Brown must have been enough for the day.

@V, wow, I can't unsee that - she does look like Paris in that picture!

Penelope said...

They were dumb young men who had no idea how serious the situation was. I'm sure Joaquin has tortured himself about this for years. Give the guy a break.

NomNom83 said...

So lemme get this straight: The author is claiming Joaquin -- who had JUST turned 19 a few days before -- sealed his brother's fate by insisting on a "wait and see" approach. But, Rain, who was standing there, too, and two years older bears no responsibility for delaying the call? Samantha Mathis? Oh, that's right, neither of them are as famous as Joaquin.

Unless Joaquin was knocking phones out of people's hands, this is just a really shitty accusation.

SophiaB said...

It was the 80s, man. Lots of people died from overdose. It was a suckass decade, with lots if darkness and despair. The coke epidemic that started up in the disco world spun wildly out of control with the introduction of crack. Reaganomics destroyed the economy, and people with Master's degrees were driving taxicabs. River was gonna die one way or the other. He was gonzo.

TalksTooMuch said...

I agree, j kav. Gross. Monday morning quarterbacking death from so long ago is exploitative at best.

Silly Girl said...

River was one of my favorites. I remember driving to the grocery store with my Dad when I heard this on the radio. I burst in to tears and my dad didn't understand why. It was the first, celebrity my age who had died, and of a drug overdose. I kept telling my dad someone should have done something, tried to keep him off drugs and sober. The look on my dads face was priceless. He said, "I guess we don't need to talk about how bad drugs are for you then, do we?"

Such as sad story. It bothers me that this is coming out in a book now. I SO want to see his last movie, the one that was just released. I don't even remember the name, now that I think about it...

Angela said...

Phoenix and Plimpton starred together in Mosquito Coast and Running on Empty, a GREAT movie from Sidney Lumet that's hugely underrated.

TalksTooMuch said...

@sillygirl: I think it is The Thing Called Love, I'm pretty sure I own it, but it isn't very good. I haven't seen it in a long while, but I remember how wooden he seemed, and his mouth barely moved.

Eloise said...

As an aside,I watched my 21-year-old sister die 6 1/2 years ago when I was 19 and it nearly destroyed me and she died of cancer so there's no "what if"s or "if only"s.I can't imagine how much Joaquin and Rain must have suffered for the last 20 years.To try to add to their pain by trying to place blame is extremely cruel.You never get over the loss of a sibling.

Unknown said...

cheap shot saying he could have been saved. We will never know. However, a bunch of dumb, young kids who were also intoxicated obviously didn't understand the seriousness of what was occurring until River had the seizure.

fancyscreenname said...

I was so sad when he died. Everytime. I hear his name I get sad all over again. He was a talented actor.

Henriette said...

Actually it was the 90s not the 80s when River Phoenix died. I read that Johnny Dipp was playing with his band and told them to take River outside, as not to make his club look bad. That's why Dipp is such a jerk.

Unknown said...

There was a recent "last 24 hours" about River Phoenix. In the months leading up to his death, he was more sober than he'd been in a while (due to working on a film). That night, he was supposed to go onstage to jam with some musicians (including Flea) but there wasn't room for him. He was apparently crushed and started doing pretty much every drug he could get his hands on. Nobody recognized how fucked up he was until it was too late.

But so what if there's a book about him? He's not a sacred topic. I'd love to read a well-researched book about him, especially one that isn't sugar-coating his life.

River's crew were probably too out of it to react and no doubt feel guilt about it. As they should. They're not responsible for what River chose to do, but they also failed him in his time of need. That's a heavy burden to bear, but it doesn't mean that it should never be mentioned.

Allison Langston said...

River is my favorite of all time and always will be. Only celebrity I've ever felt such affection for and I will always miss him. By all accounts he and his siblings had extremely close and loving relationships. It's not exactly easy to see when someone crosses the line from effed up to deadly overdose, especially when you're young, and denial is at play in even the finest families where drug addicts are concerned. I think it stinks that someone is trying to cash in by making these unfair, speculative accusations. River was having a bad night and made an impulsive decision that ended up costing him his life. I don't believe he would ever blame anyone for that. I'm sure his family has suffered terribly and they don't deserve a bunch of strangers digging up his grave for a quick buck. I wish people would honor his memory by focusing on the tremendous positive things he brought into the world, not only his totally unique talent and beautiful self but his love for animals and other people. He deserves better than to be remembered for the last 2 confused years of his life.

0_0 said...

Stuff like this is why any 12 year old should know better than to even start with any drug abuse. And if one's friends all are, one needs new friends.

The BLS said...

Has anyone here LISTENED to the 911 call Joaquin made? It's heartbreaking. To blame him for River's death is absurd.

yodelay said...

Fuck this shit.

The author is, at best, akin to a graverobber and this enty is an ass for giving that slop any advertisement.

GMonkey said...

Sorry, but knocking phones out of people's hands just made me laugh. People didn't really just "carry" cell phones back then, even rich and famous people. Maybe some stock broker might have. Rich people had "car phones" they used just in the car.

Rach Around said...

No Sophia, it was three years into the 90's. and that's a very fatalistic view. Some people actually survive and recover from addiction.