Kristoff St. John's death was ruled accidental, but his ex-wife Mia St. John believes the actor died because of their son Julian's death.
Kristoff St. John starred in numerous films and television series in his lifetime, the most popularly being his role as Neil Winters on "The Young and the Restless" from 1991 until he died in 2019.
Kristoff died at 52 on February 3, 2019. His attorney, Mark Geragos, confirmed his death to ET. Following the actor's passing, the LA County Medical Examiner/Coroner's Office completed an autopsy and deferred the cause of his death pending additional investigation.
Late American actor Kristoff St. John speaking at an interview. [Left] | Late American actor Kristoff St. John's son Julian at an event. [Right] | Photo: Getty Images
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Police Department revealed that they responded to an incident in the San Fernando Valley area considered a possible alcohol overdose. However, they failed to confirm it was Kristoff that died and the cause of his death.
CBS reacted to Kristoff's death by releasing a statement that described the late actor as a talented actor and an even better person.
Kristoff St. John onstage during the 44th NAACP Image Awards, February 2013. | Photo: Getty Images
The network described him as a beloved friend with an infectious smile and laughter that made every day on the set a joy and endeared him to audiences. It also commiserated with the actor's family on his death.
Over a month after Kristoff's death, the Los Angeles County Coroner's office confirmed that he died from heart disease, and alcohol was a contributing factor.
According to the coroner's report, Kristoff died of hypertrophic heart disease, a condition that causes the heart's muscle to thicken, making it more difficult for the heart to pump blood. However, his manner of death was determined to be accidental.
Kristoff was survived by his daughters, Paris Nicole, born in 1992, and Lola, born in 2003. He shared Lola with his second wife, Allana Nadal, married from 2001 to 2007.
Meanwhile, he shared Paris with his first wife, boxer Mia St. John, married from 1991 to 1995. Kristoff and Mia had a son named Julian, who they welcomed in 1989, two years before getting married.
Julian was an artist and exhibited his paintings, pastels, and pencil drawings for the first time at the Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art in Laguna Beach, California, in March 2013.
He had schizophrenia, a severe mental disorder that makes people interpret reality abnormally. The condition may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior.
Julian, diagnosed with the condition at 18, endured bouts of depression since his childhood. He was homeless and slept in public bathrooms and motels for a while. He also battled with addiction and had confrontations with the law.
However, his artistic talent could not be hidden. Constantly working on his art became one of his most effective ways of countering the delusions he experienced.
Although Julian was looking like he was on his way to enjoying a great career in art, he died on November 23, 2014. Julian was found unresponsive in the bathroom of a Long Beach facility.
Actor Kristoff St. John and son Julian attend the Ninth Annual Soap Opera Digest Awards on February 26, 1993. | Photo: Getty Images
He died of an apparent suicide following his lifelong battle with mental illness. He was 24. Kristoff and Mia announced their son's death.
Mia said Julian was the light of her and Kristoff's lives and an artist with a beautiful mind and spirit. She added that he fought long and hard against an illness with no cure.
Mia also appeared on an episode of "The Doctors" and opened up about what she thought led to Kristoff's death.
Mia further said that the pain became too great for Julian, setting himself free. Despite the tragedy, the grieving mother said her fight for mental health would continue.
Kristoff found it hard to deal with his son's death. Two weeks before his death in February 2019, the actor tweeted about Julian's suicide.
Kristoff retweeted a post by another tweep, who wrote about losing a child. The tweep described grieving the loss of a child as a process that begins on the day the child dies and ends on the day the parents join them.
In addition to retweeting the post, Kristoff thanked the tweep for posting those words and said nothing more authentic had ever been spoken.
After Kristoff's death, Mia reflected on his life and the heartbreaking loss of their son. She opened up about her last conversation with Kristoff and his struggle to survive Julian's passing. She said:
"He called me at 11 a.m. and the first thing he said was, 'Mia, thank God you answered.' He was just so depressed. He was drinking and just saying, like, nonsense -- that he didn't want to be here anymore."
Mia also claimed that Kristoff was very disoriented and said he saw their late son. Kristoff reportedly said Julian was at the door and had to get the door. Kristoff also said Julian wanted to take him for a walk, but she told him not to go.
Mia revealed she and Kristoff were texting back and forth. She said her ex-husband died of a broken heart when their son died. However, she was happy that Julian was with him when he died. She said:
"That was the only thing. When he told me that Julian came to the door and I knew that my son came and took him home. And that was my only comfort."
"I've died twice in my life already. The day my son passed and the day #superbowlsunday last year when his father passed💔2020 will be my rebirth."
Mia also appeared on an episode of "The Doctors" and opened up about what she thought led to Kristoff's death. The boxer said she knew Julian's suicide ultimately led to Kristoff's death.
She revealed they were both terribly depressed and feeling suicidal occasionally, but Kristoff's was so much deeper because he felt much guilt.
It's been over two years since Kristoff died and seven years since his son left the world. One can imagine father and son somewhere in the afterlife laughing over old memories. May their souls continue resting in peace.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.
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