Former WWE Superstar Chyna was “using more of her prescriptions” and “mixing up” drugs with alcohol in the days before her death, a close friend has revealed.
45-year-old Chyna, whose real name is Joan Laurer, was found dead last Wednesday in her California apartment by a friend with the Los Angeles County Coroner confirming that they are investigating a possible drug overdose.
Her friend, Erik Angra, was filming a documentary about Chyna that would depict her life after the WWE, and he admitted that she was struggling with mental health issues – though he did not believe her to be suicidal.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Angra said: “She was having a tough time the past couple of weeks and we all knew that and she was using more of her prescriptions than she should have been or mixing them up – I can’t say for sure exactly what she was doing.
“But I know we wanted to help her and we were trying to – but I guess we just weren’t able to help her in time. She left me a voicemail on Sunday night actually – it was a five-minute-long voicemail and she was saying she actually felt good and she wanted to see a doctor next week and get her prescriptions.
“She seemed upbeat – certainly not suicidal – she was making a lot of plans for the future.”
Chyna’s manager Anthony Anzaldo – who found Chyna’s body and rang police in Redondo Beach – confirmed that she was “a little emotionally strained” in the days leading up to her tragic death, and revealed that the entertainer was mixing sleeping pills with anxiety medication.
“She had been a little emotionally strained,” Anzaldo told People magazine. “She was really confronting some demons and she may have been taking a little bit more than normal.
“Every couple of days she’d be a little bit off of her game, a little loopy, like maybe she had taken too much but she was still coherent.
“It looked like she died peacefully in her sleep, there were no illegal drugs, no alcohol, it wasn’t like her home was a mess. At this time there’s no thought of it being an intentional thing.
“I went over there is because she was unresponsive for three days. She wasn’t responding to any calls or anything so the last communication was Sunday, they think she died on Monday, I found her on Wednesday.”
Chyna remains the only female wrestler to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship – a belt she won twice during her stint with the WWE from 1997 and 2001 – and also featured in other promotions such as New Japan Pro Wrestling and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.
Chyna made her WWE debut in 1997 as an enforcer for Triple H, and continued to work with the current executive vice-president of talent, live events and creative of the WWE when he formed the legendary stable D-Generation X with Shawn Michaels as well as The Corporation faction.
She went on to hold the Women’s Championship for 231 days in 2001, which came after her stints as Intercontinental champions in October 1999 and August 2000. She left the company following her final appearance at the Judgement Day pay-per-view in 2001.
Chyna also embarked on a career in pornography from 2004 having starred in six films, and it’s known that her work in the adult industry is why she has not been added to the WWE’s Hall of Fame.