Michael K. Williams's nephew says the star didn't appear to be 'sliding back into addiction' at time of death, but 'he was an actor, right?'
Michael K. Williams's nephew reflected on the horror of finding his uncle dead from a drug overdose.
On Wednesday's Red Table Talk, Dominic Dupont spoke for the first time about the tragic death of The Wire, Love Craft and Boardwalk Empire star last year at age 54. The episode was about the dangers of fentanyl.
"I think a lot of what happened — what I saw on September 6th — I'm still processing," Dupont told Jada Pinkett Smith and her co-hosts. "Michael was an amazing human being."
He said he reached out to Williams the night before he found him deceased at his Brooklyn penthouse and became concerned when he didn't hear back, knowing Williams had a work obligation the next day.
He and his wife "made the decision [to] go to his house," he recalled. "I went upstairs, opened up his door and it was quiet," which was worrisome because "Michael always played music."
"I stuck my head in," he continued, "I said, 'Uncle Mike, are you in here?' And I observed him deceased."
Dupont called 911 right away and the operator asked if he wanted instruction on doing chest compressions to revive him.
"I said, 'I'm telling you he's deceased. He's gone. He's cold,'" he replied.
He called Williams's publicist who speculated that the media would get hold of the news within the hour. Dupont said he looked out Williams's window and "saw all the reporters" already gathering.
Williams had battled addiction, which he had been candid about during his career, but Dupont said he "was doing well" before the relapse.
"He was working on a book. It did not appear to me that Mike was sliding back into addiction," he said.
Dupont, who was mentored by Williams, said, "Mike didn't appear to be overwhelmed or dealing with any major issues" over the past five years, "but Michael also worked really hard not to have the things that he was going through weigh on other people. And he was an actor, right? I mean, you can fool people. You can convince people that you're okay."
That said, "I'm positive that he would not have knowingly taken fentanyl," he said. "I know that. I know that like I know my first name."
He said "fentanyl finding its way into our communities is the reason why I know Michael would want me here. A huge part of what my life entails now is honoring his legacy … Michael believed we don't sit back and just look at things fall apart and just become complacent. If we do, we are complicit. We have to work hard to make people aware of what is happening so that other people don't have to feel the type of pain I've felt."
Dupont also shared that he is living with Michael's 94-year-old mom, saying it's made the grieving process a little more "tolerable."
In February, four men were arrested in connection to Williams's death. Hector Robles, Luis Cruz, Carlos Macci and Irvin Cartagena were each charged with narcotics conspiracy for distributing the fentanyl-laced heroin that ultimately killed the star. Surveillance video released by investigators appeared to show Cartagena handing Williams the deadly drugs one day before the star's body was found.
Police officials said that when Williams was found on Sept. 6. there was what appeared to be drug paraphernalia in the apartment and heroin on the kitchen table.