Party-girl and debutante Casey Johnson, the troubled Johnson & Johnson scion who blazed a jagged path littered with drugs and alcohol, was found dead Monday at age 30
at her home in Los Angeles. She died alone, had been dead for days, and no one had noticed.
New Yorkers picking up their tabloids on the way to the subway this morning were sucker-punched by full-page photos of a Marilyn Monroe-like sexy blonde on the newspapers' covers and the OMG! headline, "Heiress Dead."
You didn't have to know anything much about Casey Johnson to figure out how her story unfolded.
Casey lived much of her adult life in the tabloids. Celebrity hounds on both coasts knew every saucy detail of Casey's riotous sex life, which she lived boisterously. Brawls and catfights with girlfriends, public drunken antics and even grand theft figured prominently in her roller-coaster life of glamor and debauchery. Just a few weeks ago, she announced her engagement to that paragon of bad taste, the B-list reality personality Tila Tequila, 28, with the release of an online video in which both appeared in only bras and panties.
Casey, the daughter of Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets, grew up pampered and spoiled in the fabulously wealthy Upper East Side world she shared with Paris and Nicky Hilton, with whom Casey made a 2002 documentary about rich kids called "The It Girls." (Nicky was the godmother of Casey's adopted young daughter, and Paris, reacting to Casey's death, tweeted, "I feel like I've lost a sister.")
But Casey Johnson was a hard-luck case. She drifted between lovers and drugs with spells of lucidity. Even more so than Paris Hilton, Casey had been trawling the down-and-dirty. On top of her addictions to drugs and alcohol and futile trips to rehab, she had been afflicted with juvenile diabetes since she was a little girl. Hers was a life of hospitals and rehab facilities, Hollywood lows and highs, mental and physical self-abuse.
So much so that her father cut off her trust fund a few years ago when her life again swirled into a downward spiral, and Casey's mother, Sale Johnson, took away Casey's little girl, Ava, adopted two years ago in Kazakhstan.
Last night the family said in a statement, "The Johnson family is mourning its tragic loss, and asks for privacy during this very difficult time."
An autopsy and toxicology tests have been scheduled. No doubt a memorial is under way.