The girlfriend of former Anheuser-Busch CEO August Busch IV died at his home after accidentally overdosing on the painkiller oxycodone, the St. Louis County medical examiner said Wednesday.
Adrienne Martin, 27, of St. Charles, was found dead on the morning of Dec. 19 at Busch's sprawling estate in suburban St. Louis. Martin had slept at Busch's home the night before her death. He has said he woke up around 11 a.m. and tried to awaken Martin, but couldn't.
In a one-paragraph statement released on Wednesday, Dr. Mary Case, the medical examiner, said lethal levels of the painkiller oxycodone caused Martin's death.
St. Louis County forensics administrator Suzanne McCune said the full report from Martin's toxicology exam wouldn't be released until the prosecuting attorney's investigation is complete. She would not say if any other drugs were found in Martin's system.
It wasn't immediately clear if the finding could result in any criminal charges. Busch's attorney, Art Margulis, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
Busch, 46, was the last in a long line of members of his family to head the iconic brewery, maker of Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob, Busch and other beers. Despite his efforts to ward off a takeover, Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. was sold to Belgian brewer InBev in 2008, two years after Busch took over as chief executive officer upon his father's retirement.
Reputation as playboy
At Anheuser-Busch, Busch IV earned praise for his role in marketing and advertising. In life, he earned a reputation as a playboy and hard partier.
In 1983, Busch, then a 20-year-old University of Arizona student, left a bar near Tucson, Ariz., with a 22-year-old woman. His black Corvette crashed, and the woman was killed. Busch was found hours later at his home, and he suffered a fractured skull and claimed he had amnesia. After a seven-month investigation, authorities declined to press charges, citing a lack of evidence.
Two years later, Busch was acquitted by a jury in St. Louis on assault charges resulting from a police chase that ended with an officer shooting out a tire on his Mercedes-Benz.
But Busch said his relationship with Martin was so strong he had put aside his playboy ways.
"She was the only girl I've ever been with that I didn't want to have someone on the side," Busch told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in an interview last month. "You know, I'm this notorious bachelor who always wanted someone on the side, but I didn't with Adrienne."
Martin had done modeling work and was the mother of an 8-year-old son from a previous marriage. Friends had said she was strongly opposed to illegal drugs.
Kevin Martin, Adrienne Martin's ex-husband, had told the Post-Dispatch that she had a heart disorder known as Long QT syndrome, which involves the electrical activity of the heart. The medical examiner in Wednesday's statement did not address that issue.