Herbalife Founder on Drinking Binge Before Death

Reuters / August 12, 2000

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Mark Hughes, founder of the weight loss and nutritional firm Herbalife International, had been on a four-day drinking binge just before his death in May, final autopsy results showed on Saturday.

Hughes, 44, was found dead in his bed in his Malibu home on May 21. He died from an overdose of alcohol and the prescription anti-depressant Doxepin, the autopsy report said.

The autopsy was released by the Los Angeles County coroner's office on Saturday, and quoted sources close to Hughes saying he was drinking at a birthday party the night before his death and ''had been on a four-day drinking binge.''

``They did not know what alcohol (he) had been drinking,'' the report said, adding that Hughes' psychiatrist was aware of the drinking problem and had been treating him for it, prescribing Doxepin and an alcohol abuse drug.

Three months before his death Hughes had been treated for pneumonia. He also suffered from asthma and was being treated for a stomach problem, according to the report.

On the night of his death, Hughes fell asleep on a living room couch and later made his way to bed sometime after midnight. His wife, Darcy Hughes, called security guards in the morning when she could not wake him

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