Cathy Smith, the woman who injected John Belushi with the fatal combination of heroin and cocaine that killed him at the Chateau Marmont, has died at the age of 73.
Smith was a back-up singer and groupie who was well-known in Belushi’s group of rock and roll friends. She often supplied them with drugs and was responsible for the speedball that killed him in March 1982.
She spent 15 months in prison for giving him the drugs then became a legal secretary and lived quietly in British Columbia, Canada, until her death. It’s unclear if she ever married or had children.
Smith met Belushi when he was working on the set of Saturday Night Live in 1976 when the Canadian group The Band were guests on the show.
She befriended him, even though he was a recovering drug addict at the time.
On the day of his death, Belushi was found in his bungalow at the hotel by his bodyguard.
No one else was there at the time but police tracked Smith down and interviewed her that morning then let her go.
She then spoke to The National Enquirer and admitted to supplying the drugs. The tabloid ran a story quoting her saying: ‘I killed John Belushi. I didn’t mean to, but I am responsible.’
She was initially charged with second degree murder but made a plea deal with prosecutors that convicted her of manslaughter.
She spent 15 months in prison in California.
Robin Williams was said to have also been at the hotel before Belushi’s death and there were reports that Robert De Niro was also there.
His agent at the time denied it.
Smith had, before Belushi’s death, been the mistress of Gordon Lightfoot.
She inspired his song, Sundown, which was about their tumultuous relationship.
Nelson Lyon, a friend of Belushi’s, testified at Smith’s trial that she injected them both ‘at least seven times’ with the drugs.
‘I felt intensely numb, intensely stoned – it was a very upsetting numbness, very disorienting,’ he said.
He told the court that he left Belushi’s room at 3.45am. When he found out he’d died the next day, he said Smith called him.
He asked her: ”What happened after I left? Was he injected?’
Smith, according to Lyon, replied ‘no’ but not immediately.
Belushi, who was best known for The Blues Brothers, had been struggling with drug addiction for years before he died.
He spent the days that preceded his death scrambling around for money to buy drugs.
After being released from prison, Smith wrote a book about her addiction called Chasing the Dragon.