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Now one of the last people to see Phoenix alive that night recounts what happened.In his forthcoming book “Running with Monsters,” former Thelonious Monster frontman and “Celebrity Rehab” therapist Bob Forrest writes about his friend Phoenix’s downward spiral and sudden death.“The drug routine stayed pretty consistent for all of us.First, smoke crack or shoot coke directly into a vein for that ninety-second, electric brain-bell jangle.At the time, 23-year-old Phoenix was one of the most famous young movie stars in the world, a respected actor with a pristine public image: a hippie vegan pacifist, beloved by all who knew and worked with him. Phoenix was a frustrated rock star and, in the days leading up to his death, he’d holed up with Red Hot Chili Peppers’ guitarist John Frusciante and embarked on a massive drug binge.“[River] stayed with John for the next few days, and probably didn’t get a minute of sleep,” Forrest writes.Samantha Mathis watched her boyfriend River Phoenix die on Sunset Boulevard nearly 25 years ago.Now for the first time since his death the actress has opened up about that night in West Hollywood in an interview with The Guardian.
This Halloween marks the 20th anniversary of River Phoenix’s shocking overdose at Johnny Depp’s LA nightclub.
As soon as Phoenix and Frusciante arrived, Forrest writes, cocaine was passed around. “River was obviously wasted and was as unsteady as a boxer who had taken one too many headshots during a fifteen-round bout,” Forrest writes. I think I’m OD’ing.” Forrest writes that Phoenix got a second wind and waded back into the crowd. When the EMTs arrived, Forrest writes, Phoenix was still alive, and Flea jumped in the ambulance for the ride to Cedars-Sinai Hospital.
While watching Depp’s band perform, Forrest felt someone tap him on the shoulder. A few minutes later, someone shouted over the music to call 911. Forrest jumped in his car and, with a friend, raced to the hospital.
When he got there, he saw Mathis standing by herself in the hallway, tears streaming down her face.
At that moment, he writes, he knew that Phoenix was dead.
When she caught up to them she saw her boyfriend drop to the concrete and begin to convulse. Mathis ran around to the front door and got Phoenix's two siblings.