Artist’s assistant dies after drug binge

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Artist’s assistant dies after drug binge

LONDON - An assistant to British artist David Hockney died after drinking drain cleaner at the painter’s home after a drug and alcohol binge, a coroner ruled on Friday.

Dominic Elliott, 23, was the subject of a number of portraits by Hockney, one of Britain’s most influential living artists famous for colorful landscapes and portraits.

Hockney, 76, said in a statement on Friday that he was asleep and unaware that Elliott had drunk the liquid after taking cocaine, Ecstasy, alcohol and cannabis with his partner, John Fitzherbert.

Fitzherbert is Hockney’s former long-term partner and still lives at the artist’s home in Bridlington in northern England and runs his domestic affairs.

After a two-day inquest, Paul Marks, coroner for Hull and East Riding, said there were no suspicious circumstances and no evidence that Elliott had intended to take his own life, according to media reports. He recorded a verdict of misadventure.

Hockney, who was born in northern England but spent decades in the United States, said he was devastated by Elliott’s death.

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