Family of Darius Danesh say Pop Idol star had suffered with neck pain following 2010 car accident – after examiner ruled he suffocated from inhaling anaesthetic drug ethyl chloride

  • The West End star was found unresponsive in a U.S. apartment on August 11
  • Darius suffered a respiratory arrest and his death has been ruled an accident
  • Family thanked everyone for their ‘love and kindness’ and asked for privacy

The family of Darius Campbell Danesh, who died by suffocation after inhaling the anaesthetic drug ethyl chloride, said he was ‘suffering from chronic neck pain’ after a car accident in 2010.

The West End star was found dead in his apartment in Rochester, Minnesota last month at the age of 41.

He died from ‘inhalation of chloroethane’, the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed, with his death ruled an accident by the medical examiner.

A statement from his family today said: ‘The results of medical examinations have confirmed that Darius’s death was an accident caused by chloroethane, which is used to treat pain and that tragically lead to respiratory arrest.

‘Darius was suffering from chronic neck pain following a car accident in 2010.

‘We would like to thank everyone for their love and kindness, and ask that the family’s privacy is maintained during this difficult time.’

The family of Darius Campbell Danesh (pictured), who died by suffocation after inhaling the anaesthetic drug ethyl chloride, said he was ‘suffering from chronic neck pain’ after a car accident in 2010

 His death just over a month ago has been ruled an accident by the medical examiner

The West End star was found dead in his apartment in Rochester, Minnesota (pictured) last month at the age of 41

A statement released by the family previously said local police had found ‘no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances’.

Campbell Danesh, from Glasgow, was living at the Berkman apartments, a two-year-old building set over seven floors.

It is described as Rochester’s ‘premier address for elegant short-term and long-term furnished suites and residential living’. 

The majority of those who live in the apartment block, which has around 270 long-term rentals and 75 short-term or nightly rentals, either work or are treated at the Mayo Clinic’s Saint Marys Campus which is opposite. It is not known if Danesh was receiving treatment.

The medical facility, which opened in 1889, has 70 operating rooms, ten intensive care units and 1,265 beds and specialises in cardiac treatment, transplants, psychiatry, neurosurgery and rehabilitation. 

The family of Scots Pop Idol contestant Darius Campbell Danesh had been told they could face an agonising two-month wait to find out the cause of his death. Pictured with his ex-wife Natasha Henstridge and her two sons

The West End star was found unresponsive in a US apartment opposite the Mayo Clinic specialist treatment centre (pictured) on August 11. File image

A heartbreaking police dispatch call revealed the moment the star was found unresponsive in the apartment block.

Rochester Police Department said it responded to a ‘deceased person call’ at 11.53am on August 11 at The Berkman, and the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office identified the person as Darius.

According to reports, a dispatch call was placed when a ‘medical’ team was requested for a ‘possible deceased’ person. 

Another call was allegedly made minutes later from an operator saying: ‘No need for them to respond. We’ll be waiting for RPD [Rochester Police Department] to arrive on the scene. We’ll secure the residence.’  

Among the last people to be pictured with Darius before his death was actor Gerard Butler (pictured right with his friend in Malibu, California on June 11), who had reportedly travelled to Rochester, Minnesota, in recent months 

Darius was thought to have been just weeks away from a reunion tour with his former Pop Idol co-stars, with sources close to him claiming that he had been hugely ‘excited’ for the homecoming and UK comeback trip.

Stars of the show from across the world, including Queen singer and American Idol winner Adam Lambert, were due to be invited back with Thames TV filming at the Criterion Theatre in London’s West End, reported The Sun. 

His death was announced by his family, who were originally told they could wait up to an agonising two months to learn the cause of death. 

A statement from the family read: ‘It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Darius Campbell Danesh.

‘Darius was found unresponsive in bed in his apartment room on August 11 and was pronounced dead in the afternoon by the medical examiners’ office.

‘The local police department have confirmed that there were no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances. The cause of his sudden death is unknown at this stage while medical examinations continue.

‘We ask that you respect our wishes for privacy at this time whilst we come to terms with the tragic loss of our son and brother.’

Darius and Natasha Henstridge at a barbecue at The Project Beach House in Malibu, California, on August 9, 2008

His debut single, Colourblind, was released in 2002 and went to number one, marking the start of a run of top 10 releases

Pete Waterman, who first met Campbell Danesh as a judge on Pop Idol, described him as ‘the perfect person’

Tributes poured in from across the entertainment world, with Pete Waterman, who first met Campbell Danesh as a judge on Pop Idol, describing him as ‘the perfect person’.

‘The word gentleman is overused but not in Darius’ case,’ he told Good Morning Britain.

‘So quiet, so polite, so gentle, I guess he was the perfect person. So gentle. No cross words. He didn’t get angry. Darius wanted to do too much. He had too much talent. Darius could have gone on to be bigger than Michael Bublé.’

Simon Cowell, 63, who first met Darius in 2002 when he finished in third place on Pop Idol, released a statement honouring the star who passed exactly 20 years after he topped the charts with his critically-acclaimed single Colourblind.

Darius famously turned down a record deal from Cowell but the two have remained friendly over the years and reunited at an X Factor party and recording. 

It was also revealed that the late star recently visited Simon’s home in Malibu for the evening to attend the party and judges’ homes filming.

Cowell told MailOnline: ‘I first saw Darius on television over 20 years ago and I got to know him really well. He was charismatic, funny and just a great person to be with.

‘His passing, for someone so young, is an absolute tragedy and my heart goes out to his family and friends.’ 

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