DAVID COVERDALE on TAWNY KITEAN's death: 'I didn't see that one coming'
David Coverdale says that he was shocked to hear about the death of actress Julie E. “Tawny” Kitaen, who is best known in the rock world for her appearance in the band’s video for “Here I Go Again”.
While WHITESNAKE was working on it 1987 self-titled album, Coverdale started dating Kitaen, who had recently starred opposite Tom Hanks in the movie “Bachelor Party”. Kitaen soon appeared in several of WHITESNAKE’s music videos, including those for “Here I Go Again”, “Is This Love” and “Still Of The Night”. Footage of Kitaen writhing around on the hood of a Jaguar in the “Here I Go Again” clip has been called one of the most iconic — and sexiest — video moments ever filmed.
Coverdale discussed Kitaen’s passing in a new interview with Meltdown of Detroit’s radio station WRIF. He said: “I got a text late at night, and I thought, ‘Oh my God.’ Really, to be honest, there had been no communication for over 30 years. I’ve been deeply invested, and continue to be invested, in my marriage to my current wife Cindy. I think it would have been different had Tawny and I had a child, but we didn’t. And I sent my condolences out to her family and friends and made a modest public statement because it really wasn’t my place to do anything else.
“As you know, Tawny is synonymous with WHITESNAKE, with MTV,” he continued. “This iconic, amazing beauty who brought so much attention to my music. Once you go, ‘Oh my God, she’s gorgeous,’ you go, ‘Wow, the songs aren’t bad either.’
“Yeah, so that was a shock — there was no question,” David added. “I didn’t see that one coming. But then, sadly, I’m losing a lot of people. At this age, it’s so weird the amount of people I know who are checking out, privately or professionally. It’s pretty crazy. But it’s onwards and forwards — it has to be my philosophy.”
Earlier this month, a spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in California said that Tawny’s cause of death was dilated cardiomyopathy. The manner of death was ruled natural.
According to the spokesman, other significant conditions included mild coronary atherosclerosis (clogged arteries); mirtazapine (antidepressant), mirtazapine metabolite, alprazolam (Xanax), acetaminophen (Tylenol), pregabalin (nerve pain medication) and hydrocodone (opioid).
Kitaen died on May 7 at her home in Newport Beach, California.