Friends Doubt Rodney King Death Story
2012-06-19 0:00

By Evann Gastaldo |

Two of Rodney King’s close friends think his fiancée, Cynthia Kelley, is lying about what happened in the hours before his death. Kelley says King, who had reportedly been drinking and smoking weed, banged on the window of their house around 5am yesterday and then she heard a splash. But friends heard her tell the story a few times and say she altered it just a bit each time, and they’ve told both TMZ and the police they fear she’s hiding something. Meanwhile, in the Los Angeles Times, Kurt Streeter recalls his series of interviews with King this year, and writes that King was still drinking and still smoking pot (for medical reasons, he said).

"What I witnessed was a man still struggling against alcohol," Streeter writes, though King always appeared in control when the two saw each other and insisted he could manage his addiction. Despite his continuing struggles, Streeter writes, King appeared to be "headed in a positive direction," with a new book coming out, hopes for a movie about his life, and a loving fiancée. Hauntingly, Streeter also recalls that in the pool where he would eventually drown, King had inscribed two dates: 3/31/91, when he was beaten by police, and 4/29/92, when the resulting LA riots occurred. "I thought of putting the number of people who died [in the riots] down there on the wall, the number 54," King once said. "But that would be too much. Just too much death."

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