UPDATE: Bob Saget’s family and friends say he was his “normal, happy and joking self” in the days leading up to his death, as they dispute reports that he wasn’t feeling well due to long-term COVID, TMZ reported early Thursday.
A friend of the late comedian, and an attorney for his wife, Kelly Rizzo, told TMZ that he never mentioned that he was battling the after-effects of COVID-19. In their regular contacts with him, including on the night he died, Saget also didn’t talk about having trouble with his hearing, and he didn’t show any symptoms of being sick, including with a sore throat, TMZ reported.
Saget’s family also stands by the autopsy report, which says that Saget died from blunt-force trauma after falling in his hotel room and hitting his head, according to a statement released by their attorney, Page Six reported.
Original story follows:
To add to the mystery of how Bob Saget fell in his Florida hotel room and suffered a fatal brain injury, the “Full House” star said he didn’t feel well and that his hearing was “off” before performing a comedy set the night before his death, according to new reports.
Saget, 65, also told a showrunner at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall near Jacksonville, Florida that he was suffering from “long-term COVID” and that it had taken “his body a long time to get over it.” That’s what the showrunner, Rosalie Cocci, told Orange County Sheriff’s investigators in an interview conducted after the actor’s death, according to audio obtained by Page Six, TMZ and People. .
“I did hear him say, ‘I don’t feel good but I’m ready to do the show. This is what I do this for.’ He seemed to be talking himself up,” Cocci told investigators. Cocci, who runs errands for talent and staff at the concert hall, said, “He said that his hearing had been off and that was the case that night. He was asking the sound guys to turn everything up.”
Saget also said he had “a sore throat” and was “happy he had lozenges for the stage,” Cocci said.
Still, Cocci observed that Saget “seemed OK” and was “cracking jokes” during his nearly two-hour performance. Saget also “wasn’t sweating, he didn’t miss a beat, nothing slurred … He came out very energetic,” Cucci added.
The new reports about Saget’s health come the day after Orange County authorities released its final report, photos and police body-camera video related to its investigation into his Jan. 9 death The images and video show what sheriff’s contempts observed when they entered Saget’s room at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, Florida, after receiving a report that he had been found dead.
Investigators found no evidence of struggle, foul play or signs that anyone else had been in Saget’s suite during his stay, the Associated Press reported earlier this month. A toxicology analysis didn’t show any illicit drugs or toxins in Saget’s body.
The medical examiner’s office previously ruled that Saget died of “blunt-force trauma” to the head but have offered different theories about how the injury happened. The autopsy report also showed that Saget had COVID-19 when he died, CNN reported in February. The comedian said in December that he had COVID-19, and PCR tests can return positive results for weeks after recovery, CNN said.
The medical examiner also noted that Saget’s respiratory system was “COVID-positive,” but did not clarify that finding, Page Six added.
After first being infected with the coronavirus, some people may experience a range of new or ongoing symptoms that can last for weeks or months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
These symptoms of what’s known as long COVID, long-haul COVID or post-acute COVID-19 can include fever, shortness of breath, tiredness, cough, difficulty thinking or concentrating, mood problems, joint or muscle pain, sleep problems, change in taste or smell, and dizziness or lightheadedness while standing, the CDC said.
The final report released Tuesday again points to a brain injury for the cause of Saget’s death. It also indicates that the cause of the injury ultimately remains a mystery.
A new police theory is that Saget hit his head on the hotel room’s headboard when he was getting into bed just after 2 am, following his performance, The Sun and TMZ reported.
The Chief Medical Examiner Joshua Stephany previously concluded that Saget died after the back of his head on “something hard, covered by something soft,” offering the carpet floor as an example, AP reported. Investigators reportedly believe that hitting such a surface would explain why Saget’s head was not bleeding externally when his body was found on the bed.
Investigators earlier offered the theory to People magazine that Saget may have lost consciousness in the bathroom and fell backward on the marble floor and struck his head.
The People report didn’t say why investigators at that time believed Saget lost consciousness and fell. Investigators told People that “a groggy Saget” could have regained consciousness and stumbled into bed, where he again lost consciousness and died.
However Saget hit his head, he suffered multiple skull fractures that extended to the front of his head and around his eye sockets, and caused bleeding in his brain. Stephany said the fractures “would have stunned Mr. Saget,” and that he would have experienced dizziness, the AP said.
Had he been with people at the time, they would have noticed “confusion, balance, and/or slurred speech,” the medical examiner’s report stated.
In reports in the New York Times and elsewhere, medical experts said they believed Saget suffered far worse than “a simple head bump.” Neurosurgeons interviewed by the Times said it would be unusual for a typical fall to cause Saget’s set of fractures.
His injuries were “more reminiscent” of those suffered by someone who falls from a considerable height or get thrown from their seat in a car crash. But they agreed that the injuries would have left him confused, in extreme pain or unconscious.