Getty heir Andrew Getty, the 47-year-old son of San Francisco residents Ann and Gordon Getty and grandson to oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, was found dead in his Hollywood Hills home yesterday of apparently accidental, or self-inflicted, causes. His death is just the latest in a string of tragedies to beset the wealthy family, and Ann and Gordon Getty have asked for privacy during "this extremely difficult time."
Getty was found, as the LA Times reports, by a female friend Tuesday afternoon "naked from the waist down in the bathroom of his Hollywood Hills estate Tuesday and appeared to have suffered from some type of blunt-force trauma."
Foul play is not suspected and the woman was not implicated in the death, though police say it is still "very, very early in the investigation." The likely scenario sounded like some kind of fall, however TMZ came up with conflicting details about "significant bleeding" in the rectal area, and a call about cardiac arrest.
TMZ is also reporting that the same ex-girlfriend who found Getty's body had a restraining order against her, taken out by Getty just two weeks ago, and that he had a "serious medical condition" exacerbated by stress, which was brought on by confrontations with the ex.
Andrew Getty was an old pal of Lieutenant Governor and former SF mayor Gavin Newsom, and Gordon Getty was an important initial investor in most of Newsom's early ventures, including The PlumpJack Group, which is actually named for an opera that the elder Getty wrote.
And, sadly, the Getty family is no stranger to tragedy. J. Paul Getty's fifth son died of a brain tumor in 1958 at the age of 12, and another son died of an apparent suicide in 1973. Also, Andrew Getty's cousin, J. Paul Getty III (father of actor Balthazar Getty), was kidnapped for ransom in Italy for four months in 1973, at the age of 16, and released only after the kidnappers severed his right ear and sent it to his parents who in turn paid a $2.8 million ransom. He then suffered an incapacitating stroke in the 1980s, and died at age 54 in 2011 after a long illness.