Rodney King's Fiancée: He Was Drinking All Yesterday
Rodney King's fiancée is telling friends that he had been drinking all day yesterday in the hours before she discovered his body at the bottom of the pool in their Rialto home.
Cynthia Kelley, who was on the jury in King's civil suit against the city of Los Angeles in 1994, told friends that King had been at the house drinking and smoking some weed all Saturday, according to TMZ.
Kelley went to bed around 2 am and was awoken around 5 am by a naked King screaming in the backyard and banging on the glass of their home. She called out to ask him what was wrong, and then a short time later she heard a splash in her backyard. She ran to see what had happened and discovered King's body at the bottom of the pool. She called police, but paramedics weren't able to revive him.
King's alcoholism had haunted him long before he was beaten by cops on the side of the freeway. Alcoholism was a problem on both sides of his family. When he spoke with LAist in 2009, he talked about his family's history: "I watched people die over alcoholism in my family on almost a yearly basis."
One incident stands out in particular. When he was five years old, a hard-drinking aunt barred from his grandmother's party got angry and threw a molotov cocktail under the house. Miraculously, he and his brothers escaped from the basement where they were playing shortly before the whole house went up in flames.
King released a book this spring just in time for the 20th anniversary of the riots. "The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption." In interviews, he admitted that he still drank, and he had a medical marijuana card. He described himself in an interview with the Los Angeles Times as a "recovering addict."
King was still plagued with health problems from the beating 20 years later despite years of physical therapy. Reporters noted that because of his brain injuries King would lose his train of thought easily mid-conversation, which embarrassed and frustrated him. He told The Daily Beast: "I still have some pretty bad headaches from that beating. But I don't let anger take over when the pain comes. It doesn't help anything."
King has been in and out of rehab, but his most famous stint was on "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew." He never claimed to have been past it, and he told LAist: "it's a fight everyday. Your disease will creep on you."