Carrie Fisher Faced 'Pressure to Be Thin' for “Star Wars” Before Her Death, Says James Blunt: She Was 'Mistreating Her Body'

The late actress’s friend says that Fisher began using drugs because she faced pressure about her appearance

<p>Sama Kai/Dave Benett/WireImage; Stefania D

Sama Kai/Dave Benett/WireImage; Stefania D'Alessandro/WireImage

James Blunt and Carrie Fisher.
  • Carrie Fisher's friend James Blunt says that the late actress faced so much pressure to be thin for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, that it may have led to her 2016 death

  • Blunt said she'd been "mistreating her body," and said "they had applied a lot of pressure on her to be thin"

  • Fisher was 60 went she went into cardiac arrest on an airplane, and coroner's toxicology report did find the presence of "multiple substances" but couldn't determine if they'd caused her death

Carrie Fisher’s friend James Blunt is speaking out about the late Star Wars actress, saying that the pressures she felt around her appearance may have led to her death.

“She’d been really mistreating her body, and she’d just got the job again of being Princess Leia in a new Star Wars movie, [The Force Awakens]” Blunt, 50, told audiences while speaking about his memoir, Loosely Based on a Made-Up Story, at the Hay Festival, an arts festival in Wales.

“I was with her the day before she died,” Blunt said, according to The Independent, and shared that Fisher talked about the pressure she felt.

<p>Guy Bell/Shutterstock</p> James Blunt and Carrie Fisher.

Guy Bell/Shutterstock

James Blunt and Carrie Fisher.

The actress “was really on a high and a positive, but they had applied a lot of pressure on her to be thin," said the singer, who lived with Fisher and her mother, the late Debbie Reynolds, while recording his 2004 album Back to Bedlam. "She spoke about the difficulties that women have in the industry, how men are allowed to grow old, and women are certainly not in film and TV."

Fisher previously said she’d been pressured to lose 35 lbs. to reprise her role as Princess Leia in 2015's The Force Awakens, telling Good Housekeeping U.K, “They don’t want to hire all of me — only about three-quarters!”

Related: The Sweetest Photos of Carrie Fisher Behind the Scenes on' Star Wars'

“Nothing changes, it’s an appearance-driven thing. I’m in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up. They might as well say get younger, because that’s how easy it is.”

Blunt said that the actress began using drugs in response to the focus on her appearance.

Lucasfilm/Bad Robot/Walt Disney Studios/Kobal/Shutterstock Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'
Lucasfilm/Bad Robot/Walt Disney Studios/Kobal/Shutterstock Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

“She really put a lot of pressure on herself, started using drugs again and by the time she got on the plane, she had effectively killed herself,” Blunt said.

In 2016, Fisher, 60, was flying from London to Los Angeles when she went into cardiac arrest on the plane. Paramedics removed her from the flight and rushed her to a nearby hospital, where she was treated for a heart attack. She later died in the hospital.

“They say it was heart failure of some kind, but she had taken enough drugs to have a really good party,” Blunt told the crowd at the Hay Festival.

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Official documents from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office revealed the late actress had cocaine, methadone, ethanol and opiates in her system.

Although at the time of her death, Fisher had multiple substances in her system, it’s unclear if drug use ultimately contributed to her death, the coroner’s report said.

<p>Jim Spellman/WireImage</p> Carrie Fisher in October 2016, two months before her death.

Jim Spellman/WireImage

Carrie Fisher in October 2016, two months before her death.

“Based on the available toxicological information, we cannot establish the significance of the multiple substances that were detected in Ms. Fisher’s blood and tissue, with regard to the cause of death,” stated the report.

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office said Fisher’s death was caused by sleep apnea and other undetermined factors.

The coroner also said Fisher suffered from atherosclerotic heart disease and “drug use,” but no specifics were given.

“The manner of death has been ruled undetermined,” the report concluded.

Fisher’s only child, Billie Lourd, addressed the report in a statement to PEOPLE at the time.

Related: Carrie Fisher on Her Life in Hollywood: Sex, Drugs and 'Star Wars'

“My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life. She ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases.

“She talked about the shame that torments people and their families confronted by these diseases. I know my Mom, she’d want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles. Seek help, fight for government funding for mental health programs. Shame and those social stigmas are the enemies of progress to solutions and ultimately a cure. Love you Momby.”

PEOPLE has reached out to LucasFilm, which produced the Stars Wars films, for comment.

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