Lesbian Heiress Casey Johnson, Tila Tequila’s Fiancée, Is Dead: Sh*t Just Got Serious [UPDATED]

Remember that time a few weeks ago when we all decided it would be interesting to stop talking about Tila Tequila and actually talk to Tila Tequila and then we called her and then Intrepid Writer Lola interviewed Tila Tequila for Autostraddle and talked to Casey and talked to Tila? And Tila talked all about their happiness and how she’d found love and their future together and then remember like an hour ago when you found out that Casey Johnson had died at the age of 30?

Here’s TMZ:

Casey Johnson, an heiress to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, has died .. TMZ has learned.

She died in L.A. We’re told the body was discovered this morning.

She was 30 years old. Her father is Woody Johnson — owner of the New York Jets.

Johnson was arrested in November for grand theft — the alleged victim was a former girlfriend.

Johnson was reportedly engaged to Tila Tequila. We spoke with Tila a few minutes ago. She says they were fighting last week and that Casey stayed at Tila’s house on the 28th. Tila tried contacting Casey on the 29th because Casey had left her dogs behind. Tila says Casey’s phone has been shut off since the 29th and she was not able to make contact.

New from Tuesday 1-5-10:

“A diabetic with a drinking and drug problem who was twice hospitalized after falling into comas, Johnson’s apartment was littered with insulin syringes, TMZ.com reported.”

An autopsy is planned for Casey Johnson, who appeared to have been dead for several days with no evidence of foul play.

A ‘source’ says Casey’s diabetes was probably a contributing factor to her death.

“The Johnson family is mourning its tragic loss and asks for privacy during this very difficult time,” a spokesman for the heir to the Johnson & Johnson empire said.

Casey Johnson was linked to many beautiful women in her short, tragic life – some in friendship, some in love and some in shocking tabloid controversy.

According to RadarOnline.com, Tequila is said to believe Johnson’s death was the result of a prescription drug overdose. Johnson was known to have battled drug and alcohol addictions and had failed numerous rehab stints.

Monday evening someone told Tila that her “wifey” is not dead, but in a coma, according to Tila’s twitter. The NYPD has confirmed since that time that Casey Johnson is indeed dead.

Seriously actually this whole thing is just really weird. What’s happening in the world? Has the world always been this weird? No, it’s weirder now, ’cause we shouldn’t know about this stuff.

Then, a few minutes ago, after twitter seemed to temporarily crash, we learned once again that Casey Johnson is indeed dead.

Tila Tequila: R.I.P my Angel. @caseyjonsonJnJ u will forever be in my heart! I love u so so much and we will Marry when I see U in Heaven my Wifey

Lindsay Lohan tweeted: “r.I.p. To a friend to and of many- Casey Johnson- my regards to her family, friends and her beautiful daughter Ava* you are in our hearts CJ”

Paris Hilton spoke to the press: “I am devastated to hear this news. I’ve known Casey since I was a baby. She had a big heart and she was a good friend. I feel so sad, I don’t want to believe it. My condolences go out to her family and loved ones.”

Samantha Ronson, RT’ed by Lindsay Lohan: “Am so sick of those 3 letters, so tired of losing friends to something as senseless as a drug overdose. WAKE UP people.”

According to a 2006 Vanity Fair article (Heiress vs. Heiress,), Casey was born in Florida, and moved to Manhattan when she was three, taking up residence in a “magnificent five-bedroom apartment at Fifth Avenue and 64th Street.”

In 2006, Casey Johnson accused the notoriously private 56-year-old Libet Johnson of stealing her boyfriend. As reported by Vanity Fair, “To see Libet Johnson’s name in the newspaper in itself was remarkable, but to see it in connection with something so personal, so unseemly, was unthinkable.” The article also includes a bit about Casey’s childhood:

Casey got her first Chanel bag when she was 10, her first pair of handmade snakeskin pumps when she was 11. “I got whatever I wanted,” she says. “I got a car when I was 16. I didn’t even have a driver’s license.” Still, Casey’s childhood, like that of her aunt, was not an altogether happy one. She had health problems, which isolated her. There was a lot of “frustration and pain,” says Susan Gutfreund, and that made her mature beyond her years.

Casey graduated from Dwight (she attended with her friend Paris Hilton, who did not graduate) and went on to Brown University, eventually dropping out because they wouldn’t let her keep her poodle there. She worked a bit with Lizzie Grubman and for a fashion magazine in NYC before moving to L.A., where she says the sunshine and distance from Page Six cured her depression. Casey had since been involved in numerous scandals, catfights, lawsuits, and other press-worthy events with her friends Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and Bijou Phillips.

In Curve Magazine’s December 2009 issue, Courtenay Semel told reporters that Casey Johnson was the love of her life. Apparently they broke up and Casey shacked up with Tila shortly thereafter.

In December, The Huffington Post reported that according to Jasmine Lennard, the British model Casey recently burglarized, “Her house on Mulholland Drive is a mess. The electricity is off, there are rats, the pool is green. She was supposed to be evicted and her Porsche is being repossessed.”

Honestly, for us the conversation didn’t end with that interview. We are writers and this is what we do. We observe. We watch people so we can describe them in writing, it’s pathological but we can’t help it — why do these people do the bizarre things they do? Is it possible that sometimes the answer is so simple as “drugs”? Are all of these people on drugs all of the time? And it’s not just them, y’all. It’s us, too. Prescription medications and drugs are increasingly the only way many of us in the Western World get through the days & nights in a world no longer suited for the biological instincts of the human body … for every celeb that goes to rehab, there are 20,000 normal people who probably should,  but can’t afford to. It’s sad. It’s a heavy load.
Yes, the year on the calendar changed a few days ago. But have we?

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3223 articles for us.


  1. I mean like really. She lost contact with he fiance, got a gun, the fiance’s dead, and then not deat but in a coma, this is so friggin’ weird!

  2. i think i would be able to empathize with the craziness a little more if she could spell at least one word correctly. i hope it wasn’t an overdose on johnson&johnson soap because i use that shit errday. would hate to her that it’s not as gentle to the eyes/body as it’s marketed to be. but the whole tweeting of a gun pic, then of death, then of PSYCH not death, is too weird for words. people.com is reporting that the police have confirmed johnson’s passing though. even samro was getting pissed, and she looks like she does more drugs than anyone.

  3. Yeah, I saw all of this on Twitter. At the moment I’m wavering between confusion and apathy. Not sure which will win out yet. Maybe confusion since I find myself compulsively refreshing Twitter in hopes of more news/drama.

  4. update from tila: “I’m still in shock! Once again thank U for the outpour of love and support. I just wish to have some privacy at this heartbreaking time.” so i guess that confirms it?

  5. what the heck tila just posted this 5minutes ago

    “R.I.P my Angel. @caseyjonsonJnJ u will forever be in my heart! I love u so so much and we will Marry when I see U in Heaven my Wifey”

    if casey is dead tila is probably in shock and in denial BUTT if casey is alive id say tila just wants some more attention this is sad though smh 2010 i thought we were gonna do better

  6. So, I’m going to sound like a huge, insensitive bitch. BUT, guys, what if this is an attempt at an Orson Welles/War of the World type hoax? But with LESBIANS??

    For real, though, it’s very sad. In the words of Samantha Ronson, “WAKE UP people. Drugs will kill you.”

  7. What do you mean ‘biological instincts of the human body’, like people no longer sleep when they should?

    • people don’t sleep when they should or for as long as they should, or exercise daily as much as they should, or eat what they should when they should. i don’t think there’s anything about our work habits, office culture, cars, processed foods, and the general Overbooking of the American Schedule that is good for us. And if we slow down, and take a breather, or value the quality of our lives over our bank accounts or our work life, then we will lose our jobs & money and have no heath care. So it’s a lose-lose.

      • I don’t know my grandmother lived in a farm she woke up at 6 at the latest and did not have much to eat because a big part of the harvest went for paying the rent. Her sister got ill and died because there was no health care. So maybe nothing much has changed? Although maybe I am a bit luckier because I have health care. Also I wake up mostly whenever I want and have plenty to eat but I don’t have time to eat nor to exercise because I work too much. I have no idea what point I wanted to make but I agree with most of what you say. We should manage human progress not be managed by it.

  8. And then saying things like “wifey” in times that should be serious make me question her so so very much.

  9. at first i thought tila said she wanted “piracy,” not “privacy” and I was like, that is such a weird thing to want at a time like this.

  10. wow do u guys see what perez hilton is saying about tila hes saying she just wants attention etc etc its all on twitter right now hes saying stuff about her, i said this too many times she’s a sick girl that wants attention..part of me doesen’t even believe that casey is dead but if she is god bless her family

    perez hilton hates b.scott, b.scott hates tila tequila, and they both hate tila

    the gay bloggers in hollywood can’t get along for anything

  11. perez tweets:

    @OfficialTila There is more to life than getting publicity and clawing your way from the F list to the D list of fame! DEATH is real shit!

    @bradwalsh She’s disgusting! She’s also already talking to the media.

    @McCainBlogette Tila Tequila is a vile subhuman! She needs more than prayers!

    @officialtila You’re disgusting! Shame on you!

    wow he’s going off

    • just what we need, more hate in the world. more reasons for people to get even more down on themselves and fucked up in whatever way they are, and to turn to drugs and perpetuate the cycle. and all this hate is a button click and 140 characters (or less) away. wtf. RT @samantharonson WAKE UP PEOPLE!

  12. Its more than odd with her recent youtube videos of this Jane character that they were “out of touch,” then she posts a picture of a totally un-fucking-necessary gun, then this girl ends up dead?

    I dont keep up with Tila other than what I read on this site, but she has some serious ass issues she needs to work out. I understand that grief makes people act in strange ways- my girlfriend shot herself in front of me and I wrote her a letter a few weeks later for people to see on myspace (which I soon deleted and somewhat regretted, but was still kind of weird to look back on)- but her behavior is borderline psycho erratic.

    They need to look into this situation and figure out what the hell is going on. Damn. Lay off the Twitter and feel some feelings, girl.

    • I don’t keep up with Tila other than what I write on this site, since I don’t read it unless I have to because something that ‘important’ has happened. So I know what you mean. It’s gone from crazy celebrities to even someone like Britney who was clearly bipolar — like it was obvious that’s what she had — or other celebs who are clearly on coke or something– to people like these two where it’s just totally bewildering. Like we have no idea. Similar to how we felt about Michael Jackson at times actually; obviously his talent and impact on the universe makes him a completely different type of human, but a similarly bewildering brand of crazy.

      I hope everyone gets well. Genuinely, like everyone in the whole world.

  13. What the f$&@? Is this even for real?!
    This is insane. This is the same lesbian heiress who allegedly lit her gf’s hair on fire right?

    I don’t even know what to think on the Tila Tequila angle, didn’t they just get engaged? I’m still not even convinced that was anything but a publicity thing. And what fiancée would be out of contact for over a week and not be breaking down doors/filing police reports. Wouldn’t it be kind of odd if your honey didn’t wish you a happy new year?

    There are many wrong-seeming things about this, not the least of which is Samantha Ronson being one link from Tila in the real-life Hollywood lesbian chart.,.

  14. But you know what? If she twittered as she found out, who are we to judge? Hell i wouldn’t but who knows? Mad grief does crazy shit to people.

  15. Wow it’s official, the NYT just put up a story, my apologies if it was linked already but I can’t check more than one page at a time since I’m on my phone.

    Now I’m starting to wonder if my questioning the legitimacy of Tila’s relationship is internalized homophobia, but then again, Tila built her career on highly publicized fake relationships. And nudity. But mostly declaring that people were her soulmates, for TV. I’m still really skeptical and I’m also wondering what Perez Hilton knows, considering how disgustingly tastless his comments are regarding someone who’s just lost her fiancée. What is motivating that? I stopped reading his site eons ago but it’s surprising how vituperative his tweets are.

    Oh god why am I devoting any thought to this, I swore I was finished paying attention to Tila forever.

  16. I’m going to see what happens in the next few days/weeks before really passing judgment or anything.
    I DO feel bad for Casey’s friends and family and Tila.

    Has anyone noticed that a lot of headlines have put quotes around fiancèe?
    Is it because they’re gay or because no one thinks anything Tila does is legit?

  17. This is all a little too much in overexposure. I am all for getting twitter updates but to get a play by play reaction of someone’s girlfriends death, their reaction and insults like that is a little too much. Whatever happened to privacy and compassion regardless of the person?

  18. I don’t understand what’s happening in the world. This shit is bananas. Who the hell thinks, “Oh, I should probably tweet about this,” when the love of their life dies? I wouldn’t be able to make a phone or computer function at that point.

    • Yeah, that’s what’s fucking with my head the most. I would be balled up in a dark corner sobbing myself blind amongst a myriad of shreads once known as tissue, and she never seems truly affected. The way she noted she was going to be with friends and fam almost made it sound like she was just going to another party. I wouldn’t be able to breathe at this point. Maybe that’s just me.

      • I think that’s what’s fucking with my head the most. I mean if this had just happened to me I’d be sobbing myself blind in a dark corner cradling amongst a myriad of shreads once known as tissues, but this hasn’t seemed to affect her that much. She noted she was going to be with friends and fam and almost made it sound like she was just going to party. maybe that discombobulated reaction would just be me. Maybe she’s in shock.

  19. I remember watching a program a few years back about Casey Johnson and how she had childhood diabetes. New technologies were developed by Johnson and Johnson b/c of Casey’s predicament. If I remember right she had a very serious problem with diabetes in that it needed to be monitored constantly and she was very sheltered in her youth because of the seriousness of her diabetes. it is unfathomable that she would stop taking her disease seriously to become a drug addict. I thought she was a spokes person for the disease as a teenager. Casey’s life was more interesting than that person being connected to her for a few weeks.

  20. re: who would ever think “I must tweet this,” when their fiancee dies?

    Tila Tequila would. The girl has built her entire life around offering herself up whole for media consumption. I doubt it would ever even occur to her to do otherwise at this point. That’s not even a knock against her. I just don’t think she has any concept of personal privacy or an internal life as the rest of us would know it.

  21. Yea I think perez hilton was disgusted about how tila handled the entire situation…

    Off topic? Why is it that a few of you dislike perez hilton? Is there something I’m missing about him? I’m actually happy that he’s so popular along with his website and he’s openly gay,why so much hate on him ladies?

    • personally, i think he can be really sexist and he just takes things further than i find funny.

      i haven’t looked at his site for more than a year, so i have no idea if he’s changed, buti never thought he was all that funny, anyway.

    • First of all, I don’t agree with his mission to out gay celebrities. It’s self-serving for his blog and harmful. I do believe that we would be better off with more high-profile members of the LGBT community coming out, but forcing them too is wrong. Everyone needs to come out in their own time and for their own reasons. The only exception I would consider would be anyone making a career against or public statements against gay rights while hiding their own sexuality- if you actively harm the movement then maybe it’s fair game. But actors? Nope, they don’t owe us anything more than to try not to make shit films. Let’s let them focus on that.

      Second, his confrontation with will.i.am and eventual “apology” were ridiculous. While I sometimes find GLAAD to be a bit too fixated on language, it DOES matter and I agree with them entirely on this one. Using the word “faggot” to provoke some, to intentionally make a public scene for your own blog? This sends the message that the word still has immense power and fear attached to it. (http://glaadblog.org/2009/06/22/glaad-issues-statement-on-perez-hilton%E2%80%99s-use-of-anti-gay-slur/) And why is he describing Will.i.am as a thug? Is it only because he’s black? I couldn’t see anything in the musician’s history to make him sound like a thug to me.

      He’s misogynist. Any woman in any situation is apparently fair game for him to describe as a slut, whore or ho. Even Miley Cyrus and while I do believe some of her public appearances have been entirely inappropriate for someone her age, she isn’t even 18 and is being called a whore? He’s joked that a woman should have expected to get robbed going down an alley. He referred to Samantha Ronson as “SaMANtha” because what? She doesn’t look feminine enough? Jezebel has some quality comments on this (http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=burqa_politics_in_france)

      His career is basically kicking people when their down with the humor level of middle school kids scribbling in a year book. Which can sometimes, admittedly, be hilarious. I giggled at the comedy cock and balls someone drew on a building at the uni here, sure. But when it is so viciously attacking other people, why the hate?

      Man this reply got long, I guess I have a lot of feelings…

    • Perez spreads hateful gossip and is cruel. I certainly don’t want him as my spokesperson or representative for LGBT issues and culture.

  22. 2 things. ONE, you don’t get married gay in Heaven, hate to break it to you crazy person and TWO, who the HELL has time to “twitter” when the “love of their life” died???? Can we say Gold-digger? Very sincere you crazy crack whore.

      • I’m going to get married gay in Heaven. To Mary-Louise Parker. THAT is how I’ll know it’s heaven.

        And someone who has made a career out of the internet, not surprised that’s the first place they turned. When a friend of mine was killed in a freak accident, within hours of word getting around several friends were writing to him on his facebook wall things like “See ya in Heaven, man.” This is a generation that emotes on-line.

        (is emotes a word I can use like that?)

        • It is very true about going online to grieve. My mom’s assistant died unexpectedly this week and my mom was so confused by all the people writing on her wall – nieces, nephews, friends…. with the condolences. I am not judging her for it because I don’t know how i”d react — some of my friends go straight to fb with “rip dad”, etc if a parent or loved one dies and I don’t judge them – maybe Tila took it too far but idk, I really have no point in this comment

          • You guys before long 50% of our lives will be lived out online. People fall in love online, people fight online, people have entire jobs and friendships online. When people die, their twitter, and facebook, and all those other “virtual” worlds go along with them. So I think there are lots of things one might criticize Tila for — but tweeting her feelings shouldn’t really be one of them. I don’t understand why everyone is fixated on this. No one criticizes other celebrities for commenting on the death of their loved ones or exes or friends. It might be tacky, but it’s not evil. And really who are we to judge, you know?

  23. This is messed on so many levels.
    I had a bunch of extra stuff written out, but then I realised that it was just repeating the amazing and necessary closing paragraph of the article.

  24. I never thought I would say this, but who are we to judge Tila? People handle death in a hundred million different ways. And just think about it for a second, somebody is DEAD. Forget that both Casey and Tila are in the media. A person who had a family, friends; someone who might be just like you or me, is gone forever. Have some sympathy, because it could be someone you know next.
    “Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee”. – John Donne

  25. This whole story makes me feel like I want to cry and have a panic attack. It is just so sad. Grief is insane, but I don’t think that death should be commented on on a twitter that is a publicity platform for business corporation.

    God it’s all just so sad.

  26. I saw the news on GMA, light bulb, “This name sounds strangely familiar…”
    Despite what everyone says, I deffo feel for her loved ones/baby. It’s not like she killed puppies or millions of people… Soo, she deserves respect in my book. *sigh* Good luck world.

  27. Yeah I can see what you are saying about perez as far as outting people but at the same time I’m sick of closeted gay celebs. What kind of example does that set for anyone? Hiding your sexuallity, sadly celebs set trends etc etc so to me if they started to become more open about their sexuality I think people would be trapped in the closet way less.

    As far as perez hilton,I never followed his life or his site, but I don’t knock him for what he does. He’s a blogger,and he entertains people, I don’t like going to blogs where the blogger doesent express their opinion or they always agree with other people, so I respect what he does.

  28. Was anyone else shocked that it took three days for someone to notice she died? According to reports she was dead for at least a few days, and nobody not even her “fiancee” bothered to go to her house and check on her. Weird and sad at the same time.

    • I think everyone’s worst nightmare is dying alone and no one noticing they’re gone until it starts stinking up the apartment. or that’s what people say in New York.

  29. And wow no he did not call “will I. Am” a thug because he’s black,that’s your assumption to guess that he associated will I am with being black because he was a thug…

    He called “will I am” a thug because will I am reacted the way a “thug” would react

    Anyone that punches or fights etc etc is a thug…

    So I do not agree as far as that I think, you took that and associated it because he was black

    I consider anyone that harasses,fights,does violent acts a thug…and idk if perez hilton is racist or not but I don’t think that’s what he meant by it in any way at all…

    • It wasn’t my assumption, it was taken from an article (which I suppose I should have linked to) and I was posing the question for opinions, because I didn’t see any reason he was a thug.

      As Hilton himself said, he was saying something to provoke him and wondering what would make a thug like him react. Well, hell. If someone is trying hard enough, MANY people will respond with a punch. I don’t think it means we are surrounded by thugs, but rather it’s a response we’ve learned to take to insult (endless debate could ensue on why).

      And I definitely agree with your opinion on celebs coming out, I just don’t think it’s right to MAKE them. Things would be better if more people in general came out, but I’m not about to go around outing co-workers and classmates either. Your job shouldn’t determine whether you are forced out or not.

      • And for that matter, it wasn’t Will.iam that hit him.

        There is blogging differences of opinion and then there is treating people like they are less than human for being in the public light. I can’t respect him at all.

  30. I feel sorry for tila, that stuna that nicki hilton and the rest of those ladies were not cool at all. After thibkking about it I agree with riese and a few others there nnothing wrong with tila expressing her pain on twitter,in all honesty I’d I lost someone I would probably do the same. I can’t see what I’m typing so I’m sure their will be many typos

  31. Not that I wanna make this about mememememeeee, but she said hi to me on the phone and made Tila laugh and they sounded genuinely adorable & couple-y. It was for real cute, and I truly wished the best for them — albeit against all odds. This seriously bums me out, no matter what ugly truths may lay beneath the surface.

  32. …I believe that if someone is verbally saying things to you, and you are an adult…your reaction should not be to punch anyone,and I honestly don’t know many people that would react that way…

    You and I aren’t celebs and millions of people don’t watch us so us outting coworkers etc how u put it wouldn’t do much,however he outs celebs..childrean,teens and adults follow and look up to celebs, I promise you if more celebs came out, the world would look at being gay/lesbian more freely and different…

    Perez hilton isn’t biased,he is close friends with katy perry and even when does something dumb he posts about her and scribbles all over her too…

    I mean no matter how much you or whoever else hates him..at the end of the day, there’s a million people clicking his site…

    So he’s doing something right lol

      • “Doing something successfully and doing something right are two different things.” = THIS.

        (sidenote; the successfully/right thing could be said about Tila Tequila too, you know?)

        also from what i understand will.i.am didn’t punch him, perez made it up to get attention. perez tweeted for his fans to call the police for him, that doesn’t even make sense.

        i agree that if more celebs came out the world would look at them differently. but people don’t react well to being outed by Perez Hilton, you know? all that does is show the world how angry and embarrassed a person is when it’s revealed that they’re gay. the context matters, not just the fact of being outed. it’s only appropriate to out someone when they’re being hypocritical, like politicians campaigning against gay marriage while having a gay affair. I don’t think Perez outing anyone advances the cause, it just increases the public’s perception that gayness is something no one ever wants to reveal themselves, which isn’t good.

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