Country star Mindy McCready is the fifth former contestant on Celebrity Rehab reality show who died within three years of appearing on the television show.
Since Mindy McCready, 37, was found after an apparent suicide at her cabin in Arkansas, Celebrity Rehab has come under increased scrutiny.
However, Mindy McCready herself was possibly under scrutiny at the time of her death. Police were reportedly planning question her about the death last month of her boyfriend David Wilson, who was shot at the same Heber Spring, Arkansas, home where Mindy McCready killed herself.
Celebrity Rehab, which is currently in its fifth season on VH1, is lead by Dr. Drew Pinsky and features a changing cast of celebrities. Camera chronicle their journey through a 21-day rehabilitation clinic where they are treated for various drug addictions.
In addition to Mindy McCready, four other castmates have died because of different incidents relating to their addictions.
The most fatal of the show’s seasons was the third season, since Mindy McCready’s death brings the fatality count up to three out of the nine featured cast members.
It was revealed on Monday that Mindy McCready had been working on a suicide awareness video right before her death, it was revealed today.
Private investigator Danno Hanks told E! News Mindy McCready had asked him to work on a cover of I’ll See You Yesterday which was written by Courtney Dashe, a fan of McCready’s who wanted her to sing the song.
Then on Saturday, the day before she was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at her Arkansas home, Mindy McCready sent him a frame for a video with a suicide hotline number.
He said: “She said she wanted to put together this video to help people deal when someone had suffered a suicide in their life and God, she was literally having me write her suicide note.
“If I had known, I would have made sure someone was there with her all the time. I thought she was talking about sending a message about suicide for David’s death but this is unbelievable.
“She was sending me a message. I wish I had been more alert to what it was. I just didn’t think she would do this. She had two kids to live for. I still can’t fathom the whole thing.”
Mindy McCready was also facing public scrutiny over the death of David Wilson on January 13.
Sheriff’s deputies investigating the case had said the death was suspicious. They were planning to re-interview before she died, People magazine reports.
Mindy McCready denied having anything to do with his death – calling David Wilson her “soulmate” – but police said unanswered questions remain.
“At first, she said she hadn’t heard the gunshot because the TV was too loud. Then she said she had heard the gunshot,” a source told People.
“So obviously there were a lot of questions, and the Sheriff was asking for clarification.”
Former Real World contestant Joey Kovar died in August of last year, just three years after the third season of Celebrity Rehab aired.
Though his family said that he had maintained his sobriety following the show, an autopsy revealed that his cause of death was opiate intoxication.
That is believed to be a result of the painkiller that Joey Kovar was taking at the time, which was called Norco and classified as an opiate though it was never confirmed that the drug caused his death.
Their fellow cast mate Mike Starr, a bass player from the grunge rock band Alice in Chains, was arrested in February 2011 for possessing two different types of prescription medication that were deemed controlled substances.
Mike Starr was found dead less than a month later as a result of what Dr. Drew deemed a prescription drug overdose.
The two other stars who died after their series aired were actor Jeff Conaway of Grease fame and Rodney King, the man whose beating sparked the Los Angeles police brutality riots.
Jeff Conaway, who made a name for himself as Kenickie in the musical film, was featured on both the show’s first and second seasons because his addiction to prescription medication returned following back surgeries.
At first it was thought that he died in May 2011 due to a drug overdose, but Dr. Drew later made a public statement saying that he was placed in a medically induced coma following a combination of pneumonia and sepsis caused by years of drug abuse.
Rodney King, who shot to fame after he was seen being beaten by police in Los Angeles which went on to prompt the infamous riots of the early 1990s, was found dead after having drowned in his swimming pool.
The drowning was ruled an accident but an autopsy proved that he had a mix of cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol in his system at the time of his death in June of last year.
Now much of the criticism is falling on the shoulders of Dr. Drew Pinsky who serves as a host, executive producer and doctor on the show.
“Although I have not treated her for a few years, I had reached out to her recently upon hearing about the apparent suicide of her boyfriend and father of her younger children. She was devastated,” Dr. Drew Pinsky said in a statement Monday.
“Although she was fearful of stigma and ridicule she agreed with me that she needed to make her health and safety a priority. Unfortunately it seems that Mindy did not sustain her treatment.”
Mindy McCready had been in the news over the past month because her live-in boyfriend David Wilson also died in an apparent suicide at the same cabin in Heber Springs.
Mindy McCready was allegedly in the house at the time of his death but she allegedly did not hear the gun shot because the television was too loud.
Following David Wilson’s death, she attended court-ordered rehab and her two sons were put into foster care, and they remained in the custody of the state at the time of her death.
On her bio page from Celebrity Rehab’s website, VH1 made references to her personal problems and even pegged the root of her troubles on her relationships.
Mindy McCready’s biography on the show’s page says: “Although she was arrested and jailed for trying to buy OxyContin with a false prescription and attempted suicide with an overdose of drugs and alcohol, Mindy believes her only true addiction is to violent relationships.”