The Vegas Take covered the shocking news that restaurateur, Harry Morton, was found dead at the young age of 38. Chris Winn and JD Sharp were in studio to discuss the tragic passing.

Per JD Sharp, the news actually wasn’t that shocking, since it was well known throughout the industry that Morton had a longstanding drug problem. Although the LA County Coroner had not confirmed the cause of death, media outlets reported that he died of a heart attack (due to coronary heart disease).

Morton was the founder of the Pink Taco Restaurant in Las Vegas, and also an investor in LA’s Viper Room (home of the infamous incident where River Phoenix passed away from an overdose.) The Morton family has been a heavy-weight in the restaurant industry through ownership of several big chains, like Hard Rock Cafe and Morton’s Steakhouse.

Sharp pointed out that the media tends to present these celebrity drug-related deaths as if they’re a result of natural causes. Sharp even went as far as calling it a cover-up: “Most people who pass away in their 20s and 30s, who don’t have a predisposed genetic condition, don’t just drop dead. This guy abused cocaine for decades, and yet there’s no mention of that.”

Chris Winn pointed out that the media must be trying to protect the families of the deceased. Morton’s death was especially sad, since it was reported that his younger brother, Matthew, found him unresponsive in his Beverly Hills home. To a family who’s already suffering immense pain and grief, the last thing they’d want to see is their loved one’s legacy tarnished with drug use blasted in a headline.

But Sharp did not waver in his opinion that the media has a responsibility to report the truth behind these potentially drug-related deaths. He made the claim it may actually induce fear in the general public that someone can suddenly die from “natural causes” as a 30 year old.

Winn agreed the focus of the media should be on how a fast lifestyle of cocaine, liquor, and lack of sleep will catch up to you sooner than later. Chris Farley, Belushi, and Corey Haim were name dropped as examples of celebs who must’ve felt invincible in the prime of their success, until the abuse on their bodies ultimately led to an early death.

Morton never married but had quite an impressive roster of A-list babes that he dated during his life – Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Demi Moore, to name a few. It’s not surprising that these ladies also suffered from drug addiction and/or have known to be prominent fixtures in the LA party scene.

Fast times in Hollywood often leads to tragedy, but blasting the details in a celebrity death announcement is just classless and disrespectful to the dead. What should it say?: “One line too many for Morton. It’s a blow to the family.” Come on. Anyone with half a brain can read between the lines and figure out what the cause of death actually was.

We agree with Sharp on one of his points – there may be some “special” folks out there who get anxiety that, they too, may die of heart failure, after reading of Morton’s passing. But, respect for the deceased should always take priority over placating a few idiots.

If I died from a heart attack at a skeevy strip club, while stuffing money in a stripper’s g-string, my headline would read: “Melissa Vegas, women’s rights supporter, and philanthropist, dead at 38. The viewing will be at Deja Vu.”

Make you wonder what Sharp would say.

Melissa Vegas

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