Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Johnson & Johnson heiress found dead aged 30

LOS ANGELES - A socialite heiress to the Johnson & Johnson hygiene products and pharmaceutical empire has been found dead aged 30.

The body of Casey Johnson, daughter of New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, was discovered at her Californian home.

The heiress gained celebrity as the girlfriend of Tila Tequila, a reality TV star best known for A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila, which ran for two seasons on MTV.

Police officer Sara Faden did not know how long Miss Johnson had been dead by the time authorities arrived at the Los Angeles address. But showbiz website TMZ quoted a law enforcement source who said the heiress may have passed away several days before.

Ms Faden said the death may have been due to natural causes, since a preliminary investigation revealed no signs of foul play. But a final cause of death will be determined by coroner's officials, who will seek toxicology tests, the officer added. Results of those tests could take six weeks to obtain.

In a statement, the Johnson family said it "is mourning its tragic loss, and asks for privacy during this very difficult time". Tequila's publicist said her client and Miss Johnson were engaged. On her Twitter page, Tequila wrote: "Everyone please pray 4 my Wifey Casey Johnson. She has passed away. Thank u for all ur love and support but I will be offline to be w family."

The deceased was a school classmate of fellow socialite Paris Hilton.

Miss Johnson told Vanity Fair in a 2006 interview that turning down Hilton's invitation to be her co-star on The Simple Life was "the stupidest mistake of my life". Hilton eventually chose another socialite, Nicole Richie, to appear on the TV show. "I kick myself in the butt every day," Miss Johnson told the magazine.

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