How did Scott Weiland die? Tragic story behind the musician's troubled childhood and addiction problems
Scott Weiland, best known as the former vocalist of Stone Temple pilots, was one of the greatest musicians of all time and garnered universal acclaim for his tunes. The musician gained a lot of prominence in the early 90s by giving numerous hits while leading the band Stone Temple Pilots and won two Grammys in his career spanning over two decades.
However, his life was riddled with both mental and physical difficulties. The singer-songwriter fought a lot of battles with himself to make a name in the industry and sadly passed away at the age of 48 because of a drug overdose.
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Take a look at how Weiland’s life was plagued with addiction and mental health problems.
Experiencing sexual abuse during childhood
Weiland went through a lot of difficulties in his life, but one instance that changed him completely was something that he endured in his childhood. In his memoir, Weiland revealed that he was “raped” when he was just 12 years of age. The songwriter also mentioned that the sexual abuser was a “big muscular guy” who rode the school bus with him. One day, he invited Weiland to his house and sexually abused him.
The Grammy-winning artist also noted that he was scared to tell anyone about it because the culprit threatened of ruining his reputation.
Weiland’s fight with addiction and bipolar disorder
The entire world knows about Weiland’s history of heroin addiction. In 1995, Weiland was convicted of buying cocaine. The singer was sentenced to one year of probation. However, his addiction problems escalated with time.
In his memoir ‘Not Dead & Not For Sale’, Weiland revealed that after having a fight with his first wife, Janina Castaneda, he ended up at the Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles. The musician also noted that he met Courtney Love there, who was one of his dealer’s best customers.
He wrote, “She (Love) was with Amanda de Cadenet, the photographer/socialite. As fate would have it, their room was next to mine. That night Courtney and I got high as she and Amanda dressed for dinner at the home of Jack Nicholson.”
In his memoir, he also discussed the first time he experimented with opiates while touring. He said, “The opiate took me to where I’d always dreamed of going. I can’t name the place, but I can say that I was undisturbed and unafraid, a free-floating man in a space without demons and doubts.”
Later, in an interview, Weiland explained how his drinking “escalated” when he was a teenager and began using cocaine while performing in his professional career initially. The first time Weiland tried heroin was in August 1993, two months after Stone Temple Pilots' debut album ‘Core’ went platinum. Meanwhile, in 2007, the singer was arrested and charged with DUI (driving under influence) after he crashed his car.
The singer was arrested after an officer noticed he showed “signs of impairment” and failed field sobriety tests, according to a police report obtained by People. The troubled rocker entered rehab in 2008 and sought treatment.
However, addiction to drugs was not the only thing that made his health worse. In 2001, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had a lot of mood swings. There were times when he used to write 3-4 songs in a day while he would just sit on the couch and watch TV for an entire day when he was not feeling okay.
Weiland also had hepatitis C, a liver condition likely acquired from years of intravenous drug use.
Did Scott Weiland die due to a drug overdose?
Over the years, Weiland’s drug abuse often put a wedge between him and people in his life, but he continued to tour and create music. In April 2015, footage from a show went viral on social media and left the fans worried about the musician’s health. A spaced-out Weiland delivered a slurred, barely recognizable version of ‘Vaseline’, a song by his former band Stone Temple Pilots.
Fans believed that the musician has started taking drugs once again. Not just fans, but some of the musicians also felt that Weiland is walking on a dangerous path. Filter frontman Richard Patrick said in an interview that fans were enabling Weiland’s erratic behavior. He said, “The fans are] just sticking up for Scott, and they have no idea of [what is going on] behind the scenes. And it's actually, they are pushing him into his death because they're making him believe that, 'Whatever I did is acceptable, and I can be as high as I want and I can do as many drugs as I want.'"
On December 3, 2015, Weiland was found dead in his tour bus. He was 48. According to the Hennepin County (Minnesota) Medical Examiner's Office, Weiland died of an accidental overdose of alcohol and drugs. The toxicology test results revealed that his death was caused by a mixture of alcohol, cocaine, and MDA, a drug similar to MDMA or ecstasy.