Cilla Black might have survived if she had fallen inside, a leading Spanish newspaper has claimed.
The 72-year-old was sunbathing at her villa near Marbella when she fell and hit her head, knocking her unconscious.
In a statement released by her family yesterday, it is reported she had suffered a stroke after her fall.
But the Sur – the most-read Spanish-speaking newspaper on the Costa del Sol – claimed today she had in fact died of hypothermia.
Their report makes no mention of a stroke and attributed her death on Saturday instead to heat stroke after a fall which it said caused her a serious head injury.
A spokesperson for Cilla told us today that the official coroner’s report he and Cilla’s three sons had seen does not mention hypothermia once.
In an extensive report on 72-year-old Cilla’s death published this morning the paper wrote: “The well-known presenter suffered a traumatic head injury at her house in Marbella and was left exposed to the sun which then resulted in hypothermia.”
Linking the singer turned TV presenter’s fall to a possible dizzy turn caused by a sudden change in temperature, it added: “The consequence of the fall was a serious head injury with internal haemorrhaging which led her to lose consciousness.
“In accordance with that line of hypothesis, the presenter remained unconscious and exposed to the sun and high temperatures, which would have caused her hypothermia or heatstroke.
“Despite the seriousness of the head injury, the investigation inclines towards the hypothesis that the high temperatures were decisive in accelerating death so that if the fall had happened inside her house, it would not necessarily have been fatal.”
Hypothermia occurs when a person suffers extreme temperature elevation due to the body’s inability to regulate its temperature.
The paper described investigators’ conclusions hypothermia following on from the head injury was what killed Cilla as “almost definitive.”
A statement released by Cilla’s spokesman Nick Fiveash late yesterday afternoon said: “It has just been confirmed by the judge and coroner in Spain the autopsy was conclusive – Cilla Black died of natural causes.
“Cilla was sunbathing on her private terrace at her villa in Estepona, got up, lost her balance and fell hitting her head, which knocked her unconscious, and she subsequently died of a stroke. She would not have suffered.”