Richard Jeni's suicide

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Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:41 pm    Post subject: Richard Jeni's suicide Reply with quote
The coroner’s report into the suicide of American comedian Richard Jeni has revealed a tragic history of depression. The comic shot himself in the head at his West Hollywood home in March, at the age of 49. The newly-released coroner’s report, reveals that Jeni was involuntarily detained in a mental health unit three months earlier after complaining of suicidal depression and threatening to ‘jump off a building’. He was diagnosed with ‘suicidality, homicidality, and depression’ and ‘placed on 51/50 hold,’ which allows medics to detain him for up to 72 hours.

Jeni – who was on antidepressant pills - again demonstrated suicidal behaviour a week before his death. His girlfriend, Amy Hasten, saw the comedian talking to himself, saying: ‘Just squeeze the trigger.’ Hasten told investigators that Jeni – whose real surname was Colangelo - was suffering insomnia and paranoia because of the stress of his work schedule, which involved relentless touring,

At about 9.30am on March 10, Jeni placed the barrel of a .38-calibre Colt Detective Special in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Just five minutes earlier he had been discussing the day ahead with Hasten, who then went downstairs to make breakfast. She heard a ‘popping sound’ and went upstairs to find Jeni lying on the bathroom in a pool of his blood, and called the emergency 911 number. She told the police operator: ‘My boyfriend just shot himself in the face’. Jeni was rushed to Cedars-Sinai medical centre, but pronounced dead shortly after arrival. No suicide note was found.

At the time, his family issued a statement saying: ‘Rumours have been circulating as to the cause of his death and have included speculation of Richard being depressed over the state of his career or a physical ailment. Truth is: earlier this year Richard Jeni was diagnosed with severe clinical depression coupled with bouts of psychotic paranoia. He was not down or blue, he was ill,. Perhaps Richard’s passing will encourage people to have sympathy, compassion and understanding for those who are afflicted with mental illness.’

The Brooklyn-born comic was named as one of Comedy Central's Top 100 Comedians of All Time, and had made several stand-up specials for TV. He appeared in the Jim Carrey movie The Mask and was a regular on The Chris Rock Show.


I'd not even heard that he'd killed himself, so this was quite a shock to read.
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Joined: 29 Apr 2006
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm surprised that you'd not heard of this..... I found myself wondering has it only been since March? It's sad to think that someone can feel so down that they think the only way to deal with things is to kill themselves. In particular, that wrestler that killed his family and then himself this week (can't recall his name).... they say he also had a history of severe depression.
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Luther Blissett
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Joined: 27 May 2007

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that his death was caused by mental illness coupled with the fact that most people have so little time to really stop and talk/think about the important things i.e. human relationships.

When you become very isolated or depressed, it's hard to find people with a robust enough personal sense of happiness that they can talk to you without being pulled down themselves.

If we were all more used to talking about the nature of our own happinesses (I said "pinesses", that's almost rude), then we would be better able to engage unhappy people without fear of being negatively affected.

My ex-girlfriend treated a relationship as if it were an optional extra to go with nice clothes. She was an unusually hard little bitch, but still I think there's a culture of materialism which is more insidious and buried in people's thinking than it was in the 80s, when it was celebrated (and thus harder to sublimate).
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