RICK JAMES BOUGHT COCAINE JUST HOURS BEFORE HE DIED
Legend had long history of drug abuse
Late funkmeister, Rick James
Just hours before he died, funk music legend Rick James was seen copping his last score of drugs -- coughing horribly and gasping for air.
Best known for the 1981 hit "Super Freak," 56-yearold Rick was found dead in the morning hours of Friday, August 6, after claiming to be clean and sober following years of drug abuse.
But a female friend who spent the previous evening with the singer told The ENQUIRER that she witnessed him scoring drugs.
"Rick was high for an entire week straight prior to his death," the friend disclosed.
"On Tuesday and Wednesday he'd received four separate drug deliveries -- cocaine for snorting and crystal meth to smoke.
"The last time I saw him on Thursday, he was suffering from coughing fits so bad that he was gasping for air.
"It's terribly sad. When I said goodbye I had the same feeling I always had leaving him -- it might be the last time I'd ever see him alive."
Rick had a stroke in 1998, two years after he served time in prison for assaulting two women.
"Rick said drugs always made him feel better," said the friend. "He said his stroke gave him a twitch that only cocaine could ease.
"While publicly he professed to be drug free, privately Rick was very cavalier about his addiction. He laughed about his drug usage. He'd always say, 'Other people who take drugs are messed up. But I can afford it.'
"Toward the end all he would do was sleep, work and get high. He just didn't like being sober, except while he was in prison for two years. But in the end, he could never break free from the hold that addiction had on him."
On his last flight to Los Angeles about six weeks before his death, Rick was showing the sad effects of drug abuse, an eyewitness revealed.
"His body was racked with spasms. The first thing he did when the plane took off was ask for a Heineken. He guzzled it and then passed out. He was snoring so loudly the other passengers complained.
"When he woke up he was shaking convulsively. The flight attendants were terrified.
"He demanded a gin and tonic, threw it back, and the shaking subsided. Then he fell asleep -- and started snoring again." Another pal declared: "Rick's appetite for cocaine was massive.
"Back in the '80s when he was at his peak, Rick was recording an album and he kept a plastic garbage can next to the piano filled to the brim with cocaine!"
Another friend added: "They say Rick died in his sleep -- but I have no doubt he suffered a massive final heart attack brought on by drugs.
"I saw him just a few days ago and he was a wreck. Glassy-eyed, couldn't breath. And he shook terribly.
"He was a sweet man -- when he wasn't screwed up.
"But those days were few and far between." -- ROBIN MIZRAHI, PATRICIA TOWLE, MICHAEL GLYNN and PATRICIA SHIPP
Published on: August 16, 2004
http://www.nationalenquirer.com/stories ... ceid=62209
Friends remember Rick, in a haze
Fans of Rick James continue to mourn the late "Super Freak" singer - each in his or her own way. Last Saturday, in his hometown of Buffalo, some 6,000 people, including 70 gospel singers, said goodbye to the funk legend with song and prayer at the St. John Baptist Church.
In L.A., at an after-hours club, other friends staged a different sort of memorial to the man they'd partied with. Club regulars paid their respects by approaching his portrait on the wall and blowing either marijuana smoke or cocaine at his smiling face.
While an autopsy has failed to determine what caused the singer's Aug. 6 death, some are wagering that the pending toxicology test will turn up drugs.
One source recalls walking into an upstairs room at the same L.A. club last Valentine's Day and finding "Rick with a mound of coke in front of him."
"He was wearing a bright red suit," the source tells us. "He pointed to his mound of drugs and said to me, 'Dig in partner.'"
In 1993, James was convicted of furnishing a woman with cocaine, a drug he battled for more than a decade.
His manager, Kerry Gordy, tells us, "We tried a couple of rehabs with him, but I never thought they were long enough."
Gordy says that, before his death, James managed to finish a new record, which "is really good."
Chances are there'll be more than a few people scrambling to get a piece of his royalties.
"I don't know if he left a will," says Gordy, the son of Motown founder Berry. "I think it's going to get very nasty."
Porn into politics
America's top porn star Jenna Jameson may not know much about presidential politics, but she has an opinion on which candidate has the hottest daughters.
The author of "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star" tells us that if she had to cast the Bush girls or the Kerry girls in an adult film, there's no question she'd pick Alex and Vanessa Kerry.
"They're Democrats, come on!" Jameson squealed at her book party Wednesday night. "And they're tough - I like that in a woman."
But Barbara and Jenna may still have their shot at raunchy fame. The Jackie Factory, the venerable party machine where celebrities and drag queens mix, will have its annual Hooker's Ball Aug. 26 at Crobar, where Johnny Dynell and Chi Chi Valenti be welcoming early arrivals to the Republican National Convention.
"I know one trannie is dressing as Jenna Bush," said Valenti, who helped organize the bash to benefit the New York Civil Liberties Union. "I don't know any real girls yet."
Split, the cost
It pays to plan for heartache.
Friends of hedge-fund wizard George Soros say he's bought his freedom from wife Susan for a mere $80 million.
We know - you'd take 80 mil in a minute. But consider that the man is worth $7 billion and that he gives away about $450 million a year to charity. Lawyer William Zabel, who mediated the Soroses' split, didn't return calls. But sources say Soros got off easy because he and Susan signed a prenup 21 years ago.
At a weekend party at his Southampton estate, the generous financier assured pals Susan, 49, and their two children would be quite comfortable.
Though he was celebrating his 74th birthday, Soros didn't want presents or a cake. The Democratic contributor did indulge in a few jokes at President Bush's expense. The Hungarian-born charmer also appeared eager to embark on his next bachelorhood. "He was with no one lady," says a snitch, "but flirted with several."
A Rich reward
Grammy-nominated composer Denise Rich had reason to sing yesterday. Manhattan Federal Judge Denny Chin tossed out a $30 million lawsuit in which her former manager, James Hester, claimed that the Pardongate star fired him because he is gay and HIV-positive.
Chin said "overwhelming evidence" showed Rich axed Hester because of his "boorish and obnoxious behavior" with co-workers (including one who accused him of sexual harassment), and because of "his poor performance."
Chin noted that Rich was reluctant to can Hester and that she replaced him with another openly gay man, the Daily News' Robert Gearty reports.
Hester tells us, "I admitted I did curse, but never at anyone. If I was so bad, why did I continue to get raises? I will probably appeal the decision."
Davis' Games face
If the Olympics ever make it to New York, "Sex and the City" star Kristin Davis should definitely be on the team - the cheerleading team, that is.
Yesterday in Athens, the perky Davis was sitting behind Mayor Bloomberg and his girlfriend, state banking superintendent Diana Taylor, as they watched the U.S. basketball team trounce Australia, 89-79.
Davis is rooting for New York to get the next Olympic games.
"New York is already a melting pot," the actress, who was sporting an NYC2012 hat, told the News' Michael Saul. "We've been through a lot. We can handle it."
Meanwhile, Bloomberg knows how to get in good with the mostly male Republican leaders during this month's GOP convention: He's taking care of their wives.
Hizzoner will play host at two luncheons at Gracie Mansion - one for the spouses of cabinet and Senate leaders, and another for the partners of House leaders.
He'll also give parties for three GOP fringe groups: pro-choice Republicans, gay Republicans and Hispanic Republicans.
His daughter Emma Bloomberg is expected to co-host a party with Emily Pataki for the younger set, including Bush twins Jenna and Barbara.
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