Singer Jewel warned ex-Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh of 'trouble' from drug addiction in letter 3 months before he died
'If the world could see how you are living, they would not see you as a tech visionary, they would see you as a drug-addicted man who is a cliché,' she wrote
Tony Hsieh, the founder and retired CEO of shoe retailer Zappos, died on Friday, December 4, at the age of 46, two weeks before his birthday from complications from burns and smoke inhalation sustained in a house fire that had occurred nine days earlier while he was intoxicated on recreational drugs.
Now almost as a premonition, it has come to the spotlight that three months before his death, Singer Jewel wrote a letter to Hsieh, in which she frankly told him he was getting into trouble by taking too many drugs.
Expressing her concerns over his excessive drug use, Jewel wrote in the letter, "I am going to be blunt. I need to tell you that I don’t think you are well and in your right mind. I think you are taking too many drugs that cause you to disassociate."
The Grammy Award-nominated singer added in the letter which was obtained by Forbes. "The people you are surrounding yourself with are either ignorant or willing to be complicit in you killing yourself."
The 46-year-old entrepreneur, who had an estimated net worth of $840 million and didn't have a will or an estate plan before his death, has left his close family devastated. His family laments Hsieh's over-reliance on drugs after he quit as CEO of Zappos in August. According to a report in Daily Mail, Hsieh's family said he lost contact with some who were close to him. He had embarked on a digital detox and had considerably increased his use of the laughing gas nitrous oxide.
In her letter, Jewel wrote that his current lifestyle choices were putting him in danger of crossing from "eccentric to madness". She wrote, "When you look around and realize that every single person around you is on your payroll, then you are in trouble. You are in trouble, Tony."
"If the world could see how you are living, they would not see you as a tech visionary, they would see you as a drug-addicted man who is a cliché," she wrote. "That's not how you should go down or be known." She added, almost as a final warning, "Your body cannot take not sleeping. And the amount of N2O you are doing is not natural. You will not hack sleep and you will not outsmart nature."
Daily Mail conducted a series of interviews with his friends and colleagues over the past week. They concluded that Hsieh's drug abuse was growing fast at the time of his death and which had escalated after he quit his position at Zappos. One colleague added that the entrepreneur surrounded himself with people who "enabled" his addictions.
"There was always people around, people living in his homes. He lived to bring people together and even wrote a book about bringing happiness. So it's sad that he was all alone in a storage area when he was injured," the peer said. "His heavy alcohol and drug use was known by everyone around him," a colleague added. "Anyone that challenged him about it was cast aside."
"The talk among his former colleagues at Zappos is that Tony was likely in the shed blacked out drunk and on drugs. He was a major alcoholic and a drug addict. He was hardcore," the source went on to say. After all, Jewel's biggest fear did come true.