Juice WRLD’s mother, Carmella Wallace, touched on her son’s struggles with addiction in her first statement since the rapper, whose real name was Jarad Higgins, died after suffering a seizure at Chicago’s Midway Airport Sunday morning.
“We loved Jarad with all of our hearts and cannot believe our time with him has been cut short,” Wallace told TMZ. “As he often addressed in his music and to his fans, Jarad battled with prescription drug dependency. Addiction knows no boundaries and its impact goes way beyond the person fighting it. Jarad was a son, brother, grandson, friend and so much more to so many people who wanted more than anything to see him defeat addiction.”
While it has yet to be determined what caused his seizure, Higgins was open about his drug use, particularly lean, in interviews and music. Earlier this year, the rapper told Rolling Stone that he was attempting sobriety, saying, “As long as you’re strong within yourself, nobody can influence or affect you. As long as you’re strong within yourself, it don’t matter.”
Wallace said that she hopes her son’s death will help others struggling with similar issues, adding, “We hope the conversations he started in his music and his legacy will help others win their battles as that is what he wanted more than anything. We know that Jarad’s legacy of love, joy and emotional honesty will live on.”
On Monday, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office in Chicago delayed the release of a planned autopsy of Higgins, saying additional “studies are required to establish the cause and manner of death.” On Monday, the Chicago Tribune also reported that authorities were searching Higgins’ luggage for contraband when he began to convulse and seize.
Two agents administered Narcan — a drug that counteracts opioid overdoses — and called an ambulance. Higgins’ girlfriend, who was present on the flight from Los Angeles, told the agents that Higgins took Percocet and had a drug problem, though whether or not the drugs played a role in the rapper’s death remains unconfirmed.