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Report: Jewel warned Tony Hsieh, ‘I don’t think you are well’

Updated December 4, 2020 - 6:24 pm

Two days after Jewel posted a tearful video honoring her friend Tony Hsieh, reports have surfaced that the folk superstar was deeply concerned for his well-being after he left Las Vegas.

In an extensive story posted today, Forbes reports that Jewel visited Hsieh in August soon after he moved from Vegas to Park City, Utah. Forbes quotes from a letter Jewel sent to Hsieh via FedEx (the entrepreneur had stopped using digital communication).

“I am going to be blunt,” Jewel reportedly wrote, with the contents of her message shared with the magazine. “I need to tell you that I don’t think you are well and in your right mind. I think you are taking too many drugs that cause you to disassociate. The people you are surrounding yourself with are either ignorant or willing to be complicit in you killing yourself.”

A representative for the recording star said in an e-mail, “Jewel’s not available at this time to elaborate on the story or comment, other than what she posted in the video message.”

The Forbes cites reports of Hsieh’s use of “whippets,” or “Whip-Its,” nitrous oxide cartridges usually used to charge whipped-cream containers. Inhaling a “whippet” creates extreme dizziness lasting a minute or two. Overuse can result in hallucination, organ damage, seizure or coma.

In her visit in August, Jewel performed for about 50 in Hsieh’s new neighborhood of four estates in Park City. As Forbes outlines, she left the scene within a day, then sent her letter.

On Wednesday, Jewel posted her performance of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” honoring Hsieh. The two met about six years ago at Richard Branson’s Necker Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In September 2017, Hsieh invited Jewel to take part in a Zappos “All Hands” speaking event.

”Death is so shocking. I don’t know how other people feel about it,” the singer/songwriter said in the video. “The brain can’t comprehend why you can’t just call that person anymore. The heart can’t understand why you can’t hug that person anymore.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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