Drug Overdose Blamed in Death of Doctor at Producer's Home

A Pacific Palisades doctor found dead last month in the pool house of the Bel-Air home of prominent film producer Don Simpson died of an accidental drug overdose, a county coroner spokesman said Monday.

Toxicology tests indicate that Stephen W. Ammerman, 44, died Aug. 15 from multiple drug intoxication after taking cocaine, morphine, Valium and an antidepressant drug called Venlafaxine. The coroner's office found no evidence of trauma to the body of Ammerman, an emergency room physician and aspiring screenwriter who friends and relatives said had battled substance abuse for nearly 10 years.

Sources said Ammerman had known Simpson for more than five years and had been visiting him at his home on Stone Canyon Road on a regular basis since July. Simpson and his partner, Jerry Bruckheimer, rank among Hollywood's top producers with three hit movies this year alone--"Bad Boys," "Crimson Tide" and the recently released "Dangerous Minds."

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