The reclusive ’80s singer was barely seen in public in the years leading up to his death, leading many to speculate that Michael had a drug problem.
On Tuesday, the British coroner put all of the rumours to rest when he concluded that Michael died of natural causes as the result of heart disease and a fatty liver.
Darren Salter, senior coroner for the county of Oxfordshire in southern England, said a postmortem has found that the singer died of “dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver.”
Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the left ventricle of the heart becomes stretched and weakened, limiting the heart’s ability to pump blood. Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle. An initial autopsy failed to determine the cause of death.
Salter said that because Michael died of natural causes, there will be no coroner’s inquest or further inquiries.
Thames Valley Police has completed its investigation on behalf of the Oxfordshire Coroner into the cause of death of George Michael.
The investigation into the circumstances of the death has now concluded and a file was passed to the Coroner. As the cause of death was natural, no further action is proposed or required.
Michael’s boyfriend, Fadi Fawaz, reacted strongly once the news was released, tweeting “F**k you” to the masses; presumably, Fawaz was upset with the media’s assumption that Michael died of a drug overdose, and now he feels vindicated.
Fawaz then tweeted a picture of the two men in a loving embrace.
The Truth is out… pic.twitter.com/F07TxE8T2a
— Fadi Fawaz (@fadifawaz) March 7, 2017
Police initially investigated and took witness statements in order to establish facts Michael’s death, which they called “unexplained but non-suspicious.”
Fawaz told the Telegraph newspaper he had gone to Michael’s house so they could attend a Christmas lunch and found the singer dead in bed.
“Everything had been very complicated recently, but George was looking forward to Christmas, and so was I,” Fawaz said. “Now everything is ruined. I want people to remember him the way he was. He was a beautiful person.”
Wham!, formed by Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, topped charts in the 1980s with exuberant pop hits including Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go and Young Guns (Go For It). Michael went on to a solo career studded with major hits including Careless Whisper and Freedom and sold more than 100 million albums around the world.
In the past, Michael had problems with drugs and alcohol, and in 2010 was briefly jailed after crashing his car into a shop front near his London home.
Michael’s death prompted an outpouring of recognition for his musical gifts as well as his charitable work in support of groups including AIDS groups, cancer charities and Childline, which offers confidential phone counselling for young people.
With files from The Associated Press