Names and Faces: Billy Mays, Rielle Hunter, Jeffrey Ross, Jada Pinkett-Smith

TV pitchman Billy Mays died in June.
TV pitchman Billy Mays died in June. (Chris O'meara - AP)
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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cocaine Was a Factor In Billy Mays's Death

An autopsy on TV pitchman Billy Mays has shown that cocaine use contributed to his death, a medical examiner in Hillsborough County, Fla., announced Friday.

The 50-year-old Mays died in June, suffering a heart attack sometime after going to bed in his Tampa condo. His wife found him unresponsive the next morning. The medical examiner's office said Mays had last used cocaine days before he died -- and although Mays died from heart disease, the autopsy report said, his cocaine use was a contributing cause of death.

Mays was known for energetic commercials pitching gadgets and cleaning products like Orange Glo and OxiClean.

Ex-Mistress in Court

Summer sex scandal update. Jenny Sanford, the estranged wife of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, moved her things out of the governor's mansion in Columbia after announcing she's bound for Charleston and leaving Mark on his own for a while.

But North Carolina was party to its own infidelity-based news Thursday, when Rielle Hunter -- onetime mistress of former presidential candidate John Edwards -- spent several hours in a federal courthouse in Raleigh, according to an Associated Press report.

It's unclear what happened inside the courthouse, but it's known a grand jury was meeting inside (grand jury proceedings are secret). Hunter entered the building in the morning through a back entrance, holding a young child -- possibly daughter Frances, born in February 2008 and rumored to be Edwards's child. (He denies it, and in 2007 former Edwards aide Andrew Young once claimed to be the father.) Neither Hunter nor her attorney responded to questions from gathered reporters.

Federal investigators are delving into Edwards's finances as a candidate. Edwards admitted to an affair with Hunter, which he says ended in 2006; that year, Edwards's political action committee paid Hunter's video production firm $100,000 for work, paying out another $14,086 in April 2007.

End Notes

Spotted: Comedian Jeffrey Ross at the Air and Space Museum with his family on Friday. The group, seven in all, got an afternoon tour from a docent.

Quoted: "It's crazy the risks that we take . . . but that's what keeps it so much fun." -- Jada Pinkett-Smith, who continues to talk about her sex life. When asked in June how she and husband Will Smith spend their alone time, the 37-year-old actress told Redbook readers of their adventurous sexcapades. This month, Pinkett-Smith continues to share with Good Housekeeping: "My husband and I always make time for sex! Always! . . . And if I told you the places! You would not even believe!"

-- Marissa Newhall, from staff, wire and Web reports


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