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Brother accused of giving Tony Hsieh drugs, alcohol before death

Court documents filed this month claim Tony Hsieh’s brother bought him drugs and “plied” him with alcohol in the months before his death.

The new allegations came from Tony Lee, Hsieh’s longtime friend and financial manager who sued Hsieh’s estate in April, seeking nearly $7 million from a breached contract.

Lee’s lawyers made the Oct. 11 court filing in response to documents filed in September, which claimed Hsieh spent his final years malnourished, barely sleeping and hallucinating from ketamine and nitrous oxide use.

Those same allegations were made in documents filed in August in an ongoing lawsuit over contract disputes between Hsieh’s estate and his former longtime friend and assistant, Jennifer Pham.

Lee’s lawyers argued in the Oct. 11 filing that the prior allegations were “clearly filed at the direction of Andrew Hsieh,” Tony Hsieh’s brother, and were meant to “seek to inject salacious allegations into the litigation.”

Lawyers for the Hsieh family have not addressed the allegations against Andrew Hsieh in subsequent court filings, and they did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

Tony Hsieh died Nov. 27 at age 46 from injuries suffered in a Connecticut house fire and did not leave a will. His father, Richard Hsieh, and Andrew Hsieh are overseeing the estate of the former Zappos boss.

The Oct. 11 court filing goes on to allege that it was Andrew Hsieh — not Lee, Pham or Hsieh’s other friends — who “engaged in much of the despicable conduct” outlined in the previous filing.

“It was Andy that arranged for the purchase of thousands of canisters of nitrous oxide at an alarming rate for Tony Hsieh’s continued use when others who cared for Mr. Hsieh refused to do so,” court documents state. “It was Andy that plied Tony Hsieh with alcohol during Mr. Hsieh’s final months.”

The document also alleges that Andrew Hsieh tried to enrich himself financially from his brother’s holdings.

Previous court filings in lawsuits involving Lee and Pham claimed that, according to Tony Hsieh’s family, the tech mogul began using ketamine in November 2017 to replace the addictive nature of alcohol and prescription drugs. He was previously prescribed Xanax, Adderall and Ambien.

In 2020, Tony Hsieh switched from ketamine to nitrous oxide, according to court documents.

Tony Hsieh’s family has claimed that Lee, Pham and Pham’s boyfriend, Roberto Grande, knew Tony Hsieh was unwell but continued to use him for their own financial gain, including investments in Park City, Utah.

“Those around him were spending money at an alarming rate without any meaningful performance metrics or research,” California attorneys Vivian Thoreen, Anjuli Woods and Jonathan Park, and Las Vegas attorney Dara Goldsmith wrote in the September filing. “Simply put, Tony’s ‘friends’ were not competent to manage these investments and were spending Tony’s money for the purpose of skimming as much as they could off the top.”

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg @reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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