BOB Saget may have been secretly battling health issues at the time of his tragic and mysterious death, a lawyer has speculated.
Neama Rahmani, a former assistant US Attorney, told UK Times that, while Saget’s family has denied he had any health issues, “healthy people do not normally fall backward, strike their head, and die.”
Earlier this week, a Florida judge granted the Saget family’s request to permanently block the release of autopsy photos, video, and other records related to the death of the beloved comic, who was found dead in a room at the Orlando Ritz-Carlton on January 9 having suffered a fatal blow to the head.
Also included under the ban are details about the personal items of Saget’s that were found inside his room.
Precisely how he died largely remains a mystery, with Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) investigators speculating in their final report earlier this week that Saget, 65, may have slipped and fallen on a carpeted floor, striking his head.
The report also disclosed that bottles of over-the-counter medication and prescription drugs were found in Saget’s room, though further details were not shared because of the family’s injunction.
Rahmani says the records blocked for public viewing by the Saget family “could contain evidence of Saget’s health problems, such as seizures” or other ailments.
“Pictures of Saget’s body or the hotel room could also be embarrassing, depending on what Saget was doing right before he died,” he said.
Rahmani, the president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, added: “[But] the family may simply want to preserve Saget’s dignity” by blocking the documents’ release.
“There has been a recent trend in celebrities litigating to limit dissemination of graphic photos, starting with Vanessa Bryant [Kobe Bryant’s wife], and we may see judges siding with family members over the presumption that these records are public.”
The Saget family attorney has not yet returned a request for comment to provide clarity on the matter.
In a lawsuit filed a month earlier, Saget’s widow, Kelly Rizzo, and his three adult daughters from a prior marriage, argued that the release of documents regarding the star’s death would cause them to “suffer irreparable harm in the form of extreme mental pain, anguish, and emotional distress.”
Attorney for the family, Brian Bieber, said in a statement on Monday that the court’s motion will help the family to find peace and privacy as they move forward.
“The entire Saget family is grateful that the judge granted their request for an injunction to preserve Bob’s dignity, as well as their privacy rights, especially after suffering this unexpected and tragic loss,” Brian said.
“We are pleased this issue has been resolved, and the healing process can continue to move forward.”
Bieber also extended the family’s gratitude towards those who have kept them in their thoughts, adding: “All of the prayers and well wishes continuously extended to the family are beyond appreciated.”
Under the terms of the injunction, 57 photos of the hotel and Saget’s room will still be released to the public, as will bodycam footage taken outside the hotel room, Bieber said.
Any footage taken from inside the room, however, will remain strictly confidential.
TRAGIC SUDDEN DEATH
Saget, 65, died from a blunt force trauma to the head. An autopsy conducted last month found that he had suffered an abrasion to his scalp, a fracture at the base of his skull, fractures around his eye sockets, and a bleed on his brain.
Precisely how the star sustained the fatal blow remains a mystery, with a final report released by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) on Tuesday failing to provide a conclusive explanation on the matter.
In the report, which was obtained by UK Times, investigators wrote that Saget was found unresponsive laying on his back in bed and was cold to the touch.
Investigators said they found no signs of foul play, concluding Saget likely fell backward and hit his head somewhere in the room before dying in bed.
Bottles of over-the-counter medication and prescription drugs were found in his room, though “all the medications appeared to have been taken as prescribed,” the report reads.
Toxicology analysis also did not reveal any illicit drugs or toxins in his system at his time of death.
There were no signs of blood or bodily fluids on the bedsheets, pillows, or elsewhere in the room, police wrote.
There were also reportedly no signs of trauma to Saget’s head or body, aside from slight swelling and a small bruise in the corner of his left eye.
In an autopsy report, Joshua Stephany, the Chief Medical Examiner at the District Nine Medical Examiner’s Office, said the nature of Saget’s injuries, combined with the fact that the skin on the back of his head remained intact, led him to believe his fatal injuries were most likely caused by “something hard, covered by something soft.”
While unable to provide a specific answer as to what the “something” was, Stephany gave the example that Saget may have slipped and fallen backward on a carpeted floor.
As per the police report, most of the suite Saget had been staying in was carpeted. Investigators also noted that the headboard of Saget’s bed was lightly padded and set slightly out from the wall.
“These are listed here as possible mechanisms of injury, but nothing was located in the room that allows for a definitive conclusion,” the report reads.
Investigators have previously touted the idea that Saget may have struck his head on the headboard of his bed before losing consciousness and dying in his sleep.
It’s also been suggested that Saget may have slipped and fallen in the bathroom before staggering back into bed where he died, though the facts of the matter remain unclear.
Another new detail shared in OCSC’s final report is that a door inside of Saget’s room leading to the adjoining Room 961 was unlocked when his body was discovered.
According to the report, the room was vacant at the time and had been cleaned. However, police say there was “no sign” anyone had occupied the room from between Saget returning to the hotel in the early hours of Jan. 9 and police finding him dead later that morning.
“It is most probable that the decedent suffered an unwitnessed fall backward and struck the [back] of his head,” the report concludes.
“The manner of death is an accident.”
‘HIGH ON LIFE’
At the time of his death, Saget was on the road as part of his I Don’t Do Negative Comedy Tour and had the night prior performed live at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall in Jacksonville.
Kevin Stone, the promoter for that event, told UK Times the beloved comic was the “same old Bob” when saw him on the night of January 8.
Stone, who previously promoted two other events of Saget’s in 2016 and in 2020, said there were “no indications” there was anything wrong with the Full House alumn, describing him as being talkative and engaging.
“He was the same Bob that he was the last two times we worked together,” said Stone. “He wasn’t drinking, he wasn’t slurring, he wasn’t stumbling – he was just the same, lovely Bob.
“Bob was always an amazing guy, just one of those entertainers who couldn’t be more likable.”
Stone said that in the hours preceding Saget’s final-ever show, he spent time in the greenroom of Jacksonville’s Ponte Vedra Concert Hall telling him and other workers of the event how much he loved his “friends, wife and family.”
“He also showed us a six-minute clip from a documentary he’d been working on, which was a lot of fun.
“It was just great. Everything was just great,” Stone added. “He loved life, loved his family, and loved everything.”
He described Saget’s last-ever performance as “electric”, adding the Full House star appeared to be “high on life.”
When news broke of Saget’s death the following afternoon, Stone said he was in a state of pure disbelief and shock.
“I was like, ‘this can’t be true. I just saw him,'” he remembered thinking.
“I honestly felt like I’d lost a family member because Bob was just that kind of guy that made everyone feel like family.
“And that was everybody, from me as the promoter to the runner and the production crew,” Stone said. “He was just such a sweet guy.”
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