By now you've likely heard the sad news about Tony Scott, director of blockbusters like Top Gun and Enemy of the State, as well as one of my very favorite movies of all time, True Romance. At around 12:30 PM on Sunday, the famed filmmaker/TV producer jumped to his death from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, California -- leaving behind his wife Donna, his two young sons, and hundreds of shocked and grieving industry colleagues.
I can't imagine what Scott's friends and family are going through right now -- especially since they're having to field some widespread rumors about why he may have taken his own life. Thanks to what appears to be an erroneous report by ABC, Tony Scott's widow has actually had to tell police that her husband was not terminally ill before he committed suicide.
On Monday, a "source" told ABC News that Scott was suffering from inoperable brain cancer. The news was widely reported after ABC ran the story, including a report on Good Morning America.
According to Scott's wife, however, the information was false. A chief for the coroner's office in LA has said,
The family told us it is incorrect that he had inoperable brain cancer.
The coroner won't have a final cause of death until toxicology and other tests are back in several weeks, but as far as anyone knows right now, there were no reports of Scott having health problems.
ABC has since changed the headline of their original report from Top Gun Director Tony Scott Had Inoperable Brain Cancer to Tony Scott Brain Cancer Report Appears in Doubt.
Of course, the corrected report hasn't stopped the public speculation. A "friend and former colleague" has informed NBC News that Scott may have been depressed at the time of his death:
We are all baffled why this has happened. But there is a history. Apparently he suffered from depression throughout his life. But he managed to bottle it up and, unfortunately, it seems to have suddenly come out.
I'm sure it's natural to wonder what demons could possibly drive someone -- especially such a seemingly successful person with a thriving career and family -- to suicide. But it's pretty low to publish a report on his health without receiving any confirmation, and it's tacky to continue digging up these "sources" to comment on Scott's mental wellbeing.
I mean, the man killed himself. Clearly he wasn't happy. The details of why he made the choice he did aren't for us to know.
Even his loved ones, for whom he reportedly left "multiple" notes, aren't likely to understand what led Scott to his fatal jump on Sunday afternoon. There's no explanation that can make anyone feel better, or help speed up the grieving process.
I hope, for Scott's family's sake, the media leaves him in peace now -- or at least exercises a bit more responsibility when it comes to reporting on his death. Sadly, this doesn't seem likely, since a bystander who captured Scott’s final moments leading up to his jump is reportedly shopping the video footage.
Whatever news outlet buys that … well, I hope they enjoy the view from the bottom.
Are you surprised by the rumors surrounding Tony Scott's death?