Surfer's Autopsy Will Fuel Rumors, Wife Says
(CN) - The widow of surfing star Andy Irons has asked a Texas court to delay releasing a report on her husband's cause of death out of fear that the media will pounce on the coroner's findings and damage the late champion surfer's brand.
Philip Andrew "Andy" Irons was a three-time world champion surfer and is the only surfer to have won a title at every venue on the Association of Professional Surfers competition calendar. Irons was admired in surfing circles, and the governor of his home state of Hawaii even declared February 13 an annual holiday in his honor.
Irons died under still-mysterious circumstances at a hotel in Grapevine, Texas, on Nov. 2, 2010.
According to published reports, two members of the hotel staff became alarmed when Irons failed to respond to a knock on the door and found his body in bed with the bed sheets pulled up to his chin.
In reporting the surfer's death, the Association of Surfing Professionals announced "he had reportedly been battling with dengue fever, a viral disease."
Speculation about Irons' death at the age of 32 soon turned ugly, his widow, Lyndie, claims in a federal complaint filed in Tarrant County, Texas. She added that media frenzy has compounded an already stressful time for her and the couple's son, born a month after Irons died.
"Due to his celebrity status, his death has been reported by various news media outlets with suggestions and innuendo of drug use," the complaint states. "The media has been so aggressive in covering Andy Iron's death that they have called her [Lyndie] and her other family members repeatedly and even camped out in the front yard of Lyndie Irons, causing great distress to her and her newborn child."
The widow says the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office is about to prematurely release its autopsy findings, despite the fact that additional questions about her husband's death have been raised to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Based upon 'leaks' that have already occurred within the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office and the press reaction to those leaks, the banding of Andy Irons' company will be immediately, irreparably and severely tarnished if the official autopsy report is released at this time, when the coverage of this event by the press is at a frenzy," she says.
Irons says she and her newborn son, Andy Axel Irons, are entirely dependent on the financial well-being of Irons' company, and the court should issue a six-month injunction on the report so that media coverage can subside.
Irons is represented by Ernest Leonard of Friedman & Feiger in Dallas.