Monday 11 November 2019

What really happened to Cilla Black? Son reveals 'conclusive' autopsy results

The legendary singer, broadcaster and entertainer Cilla Black, who died suddenly yesterday at her holiday home in Spain at the age of 72.
The legendary singer, broadcaster and entertainer Cilla Black, who died suddenly yesterday at her holiday home in Spain at the age of 72.
Cilla Black and Bobby Willis after their wedding in 1969
Cilla receives her OBE in 1997
The TV star at a photoshoot for ‘Blind Date’ in 2001
20-year-old Cilla in 1963
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

A number of conflicting theories and reports have emerged in the wake of the death of beloved showbiz star Cilla Black.

Black (72) was found dead by her son Robert Willis, known as Bobby, on Saturday afternoon.  She had failed to rise from a siesta at her Marbella villa and was found face up on the balcony of her bedroom.

However, while reports suggested that the autopsy carried out on Monday failed to determine the cause of the singer and TV presenter's death, her eldest son Bobby has released a statement saying otherwise.

"We've received a copy of the autopsy and it is conclusive," Robert Willis told reporters outside the villa on Tuesday afternoon.

British pop singer Cilla Balck smiles with her fiance Bobby Willis, in Mayfair, London in 1969. Photo: AP
British pop singer Cilla Balck smiles with her fiance Bobby Willis, in Mayfair, London in 1969. Photo: AP

Cilla died of natural causes after falling on the balcony of her Spanish home, the coroner has confirmed.

The BBC reports that she was sunbathing at her villa when she lost her balance and fell, hitting her head, which knocked her unconscious.

She then died of a stroke.

The first theory mooted in the wake of the news was that Cilla died after waking from her siesta and venturing out on to the sun terrace by her bedroom.

The Sun reported that the sudden, extreme change in temperature from the cool bedroom to the searing Spanish heat may have caused a 'dizzy spell' which caused the star to fall.

Cilla's eldest son Bobby, who had flown out to visit her the previous day, reportedly found his mother lying face up on the balcony, having broken open her door when she failed to emerge from her nap.

The Sun also reported bruises found by medical examiners on her right arm and elbow which may indicate that she tried to shield herself as she fell.

A source told The Telegraph, "What's need to be determined now is why she fell and whether it was indeed to do with the sudden change in temperature and the effect that had on her - which seems the most likely scenario at the moment - or whether something else triggered the collapse.

"Midday temperatures on Saturday in the area were in the high eighties and we know Cilla wasn't in the best of health."

However, Cilla's friend and former manager Terry McCann had suggested another theory as to why she passed away.

He said the star, who had been suffering from painful arthritis and was losing her hearing and eyesight, "willed herself to die" rather than deteriorate any further.

Speaking to BBC News, he said, "I wasn't surprised when I found out she had died.

"The last thing she said to me was she was going blind, she showed me her hands, she had arthritis.

"She willed herself to die. She said, 'Bobby's waiting for me.'

Cillla's beloved husband of 30 years, Bobby, had died of cancer aged 57 in 1999 and the star often spoke of her sadness over the traumatic loss of her soulmate.

McCann continued, "Her mother went the same way. I don't know what her mother died of but it seemed she associated it with her mother's death and she just knew it was going to happen.

"She just said, 'Look at me, I'm a wreck.' I was trying to cheer her up. She knew something we didn't.

"She knew she was going to die and she said she wasn't going to linger like her mother.

WATCH: The moment Cilla Black joked about dying in 2015 during 2014 Baftas 

"Her mother was ill for two years and she had the same complaint and she said she was never going to linger like that."

Another good friend and fellow showbiz queen, Barbara Windsor, revealed to Good Morning Britain that Cilla "didn't seem well" recently.

The Eastenders star said: "I've seen her in the last few weeks looking immaculate - as always - but the last time I saw her I said, 'How's it going?' so she said, 'I don't feel too good, I've got a few aches and that'

"I said, 'Darling haven't we all, haven't we all? We've got to face this haven't we?' But she laughed it off, you know.

Cilla Black's son found star's body after smashing his way into her bedroom 

"She said, 'Oh but I don't like having the hearing aids and things like that', and I said, 'Well it's old age creeping in darling but look at us'. I always said, 'Look at us! We don't look it, do we? We still look in our 40s dear!'

Windsor also revealed she had often socialised with Cilla in Spain.

"It was lovely to have seen her in the last couple of weeks, always looking immaculate. There was one night I met her at a charity function and there was her, me and Shirley Bassey putting the world to rights... That's how I'm going to remember her."

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She added: "I'm trying to remember all the good things, you know, because there were lots... I had a place in Spain so I used to see her when she was in Spain.

"We used to go along to the local bar and sing together and things like that, so I've known her personally quite well, but I'm really sad today about it because I'm really [surprised].

"All we did was, we used to talk about our little aches and pains so this is a big shock and I'm very, very sad."

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