The manager of former professional wrestler Chyna said she died from an accidental overdose of prescription pills.
Thursday, April 28, 2016 04:32AM
REDONDO BEACH, CA —
Former professional wrestler and actor Joan Laurer, better known as Chyna, died from an accidental overdose of prescription pills, according to her manager. Chyna’s manager Anthony Anzaldo told our sister station ABC7 she misused her legally prescribed Ambien and generic form of Valium over the course of two to three weeks. “She didn’t intend to die,” Anzaldo said. “It was accidental 100 percent.” Anzaldo also said no alcohol or illegal drugs were located in her Redondo Beach apartment in the 900 block of Esplanade. The prescription pills were on Chyna’s nightstand when Anzaldo found her body on April 20, Anzaldo stated. “I could see how it could happen,” Anzaldo explained. “Valium, it shuts down your short term memory. So by the time eight or nine days were in the mix, she didn’t know what she was doing anyways.” “For years on end, as long as she took her medication properly, she was fine,” Anzaldo continued. Chyna rocketed to fame as a wrestler in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) from 1997 to 2001. She began lifting weights in her hometown of Rochester, New York, at the age of 15, and at one time could reportedly bench press 325 pounds. Chyna was open about growing up in a home with alcoholism and would later have her own documented struggle with drugs. In 2007, viewers saw a different side of Chyna when she appeared on the reality TV show “The Surreal Life.” She also appeared on “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” the following year.
Chyna later pursued a career in the adult film industry, stating her first adult film gave her a newfound confidence to get back on her feet. She also posed in “Playboy” magazine and had a New York Times’ best-selling autobiography titled “If They Only Knew.” Anzaldo said Chyna’s body will be cremated and a memorial for the former champion was being planned. An official cause of death has not been released by the Los Angeles County Coroner because the results of toxicology tests were pending. The results could take months to finalize, according to officials.