Philip Seymour Hoffman friend speaks in exclusive CNN interview

By Michael Pearson

The friend who found actor Philip Seymour Hoffman dead of a drug overdose said Wednesday on CNN's "New Day" that media portrayals have painted an inaccurate picture of the Oscar winner's life and death.

Hoffman was not in a destructive death-spiral the night he died, playwright David Bar Katz said in an exclusive interview with "New Day" host Chris Cuomo.

"It's a cliché that makes it very easy and that people like, but Phil was not that guy," Katz said.

"I can just say that I think a lot of it has been totally overblown," he continued. "It gives a false picture of him because he was focused, he was working, he was focused on his family, he was not a partier, he was not someone that was in a spiral, he was not self-destructive in any way."

Katz found Hoffman dead February 2. When police were called to the actor's fourth-floor Manhattan apartment, they found him lying on the bathroom floor with a syringe in his left arm.

Investigators discovered close to 50 envelopes of what they believed was heroin in the apartment, law enforcement sources said. They also found used syringes, prescription drugs and empty plastic bags of a type commonly used to hold drugs, the sources said.

After the death, the National Enquirer published a story indicating that Katz and Hoffman were lovers. Katz sued the publication. Katz and the Enquirer agreed to a settlement, which will be used to fund an award for playwrights.

The newspaper apparently based its story on an interview with someone claiming to be Katz, he said.

"I always knew they made stuff up, but I never knew they made up even having an interview with someone that they never had, and then the degree of seeing how everyone picks it up and, as you just said, treats it like news," Katz told Cuomo. "I was really stunned by that."



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