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Los Angeles Angels communications director Eric Kay defended his decision to cooperate with law enforcement on Sunday, saying it was “the right thing to do” in the wake of Tyler Skaggs’ death.
Skaggs was found dead in a Dallas-area hotel room on July 1 with a mixture of fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system. He was 27. Kay admitted to investigators that he both provided the former pitcher with oxycodone repeatedly and abused it with him for years.
“I felt and continue to feel that it is time for everyone to stand up and take responsibility for their respective roles in this,” Kay said in a statement, via ESPN. “Nothing anyone does will ever provide closure for the Skaggs family. I can’t, the Angels can’t, and the courts can’t, regardless of what happens there.
“But at least I can help them ‘know’ instead of ‘wonder.’ My hope is that there is some peace in that for them.”
Kay — who is now on paid leave and being treated for substance abuse — told U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents last month about his history of oxycodone use with Skaggs. He admitted to providing Skaggs with three oxycodone pills before their trip to Texas earlier this year, and said that Skaggs “snorted three lines of crushed opioids in front of him” in his hotel room on the day of his death. He does not, though, believe the pills he provided Skaggs before that trip were the ones he used that day.
He told investigators that two team officials knew about Skaggs’ drug use “long before his death,” something the Angels denied in a statement on Saturday afternoon. Kay also provided the names of five other players he alleged were using opiates.
A series of Venmo payments between Skaggs and Kay over two years, ranging from $150 to $600, were uncovered by investigators. Kay’s wife and mother confirmed on Sunday that those payments “represented drug transactions.”
“I said, ‘Why did you do it? What did you get out of it?’” Kay’s mother, Sandy, said, via ESPN. “[Kay] said, ‘They were $30 a pill, and Tyler paid for it.’”
Kay said Sunday that it’s been extremely painful for the details surrounding his involvement in Skaggs’ death to come to light — especially in recent days.
He said opening up to investigators was the right thing to do. Whatever happens next, he said, he’ll just have to live with.
“Watching and reading the sordid details of my own weakness unfold on the national stage has been nothing short of horrible,” Kay said, via ESPN. “However, I am aware and respectful of the fact that my pain is entirely insignificant compared to the pain that the Skaggs family is feeling and will continue to feel for the rest of their lives.
“I made the decision to cooperate with law enforcement because I felt that it was the right thing to do. That’s all I can do from this point on. If it comes with public shame and derision, I accept that.”
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