The official cause of death has been revealed for actress Julie E. “Tawny” Kitaen, best known as the ex-wife of WHITESNAKE frontman David Coverdale and for her appearances in the band’s videos, particularly the one for “Here I Go Again”.
A spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in California said that the 59-year-old actress’s cause of death was due to dilated cardiomyopathy due to natural causes.
According to the spokesman, other significant conditions included mild coronary atherosclerosis (clogged arteries); mirtazapine (antidepressant), mirtazapine metabolite, alprazolam (Xanax), acetaminophen (Tylenol), pregabalin (nerve pain medication) and hydrocodone (opioid).
Kitaen died on May 7 at her home in Newport Beach, California.
Kitaen’s children, Wynter and Raine Finley, whom she shared with ex-husband Chuck Finley, initially confirmed their mother’s death, writing in a statement: “We are heartbroken and saddened to announce the death of our mom. We just want to say thank you for all of you, her fans and her friends, for always showing her such support and love. You gave her life everyday. We miss her and love her and we know her legacy will live on forever.”
WHITESNAKE frontman David Coverdale began dating Kitaen while the band were working on their 1987 self-titled album. She began appearing in several of WHITESNAKE’s music videos soon after, including “Here I Go Again”, “Is This Love” and “Still Of The Night” which made her a music video icon.