Actress and model Charlbi Dean’s cause of death has been confirmed by a New York City coroner.
Dean, 32, was best known for playing Yaya in the film Triangle of Sadness earlier this year.
The movie won a Palme d’Or and also starred Academy Award-nominated actor Woody Harrelson.
Dean tragically passed away from an ‘unexpected and sudden illness’ in August – but her cause of death has only just been revealed.
Learn more about Charlbi Dean and her tragic death below…
A spokesperson for the New York City Chief Medical Examiner said that Dean died of bacterial sepsis.
They added that Dean’s sepsis ‘was a complication from asplenia’ due to ‘remote blunt trauma to her torso’.
Asplenia is the absence of a spleen – which is an important part of your immune system.
Dean’s bacterial sepsis was found to have been caused by a bacteria called Capnocytophaga.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these germs live in the mouths of dogs and cats.
Rarely, they can spread to people through bites, scratches, or close contact with a dog or cat.
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Most people who have contact with a dog or cat do not become sick, but people with weakened immune systems are at greater risk of becoming ill.
The coroner ruled Dean’s death was an accident.
It remains unclear whether an animal bite or lick was responsible for Dean’s infection, as the examiner has not made the full autopsy public.
In the days after her death, Dean’s brother, Alex Jacobs, told Rolling Stone that she had started experiencing ‘minor’ symptoms before worsening and asking her fiancé, 26-year-old Luke Volker, to take her to the hospital.
She died just hours after arriving at an emergency room.
He said: “This happened literally within the span of a day: getting a headache, going to sleep, waking up her boyfriend and saying ‘please take me to the hospital’.
“We still aren’t entirely sure [what happened]. There’s an autopsy being done which we know might take quite a while.”
He also told the outlet that his sister had been involved in a ‘very, very bad car accident’ around 2009 – which is when doctors were forced to remove her spleen.
She is said to have suffered a broken back and ribs in the terrifying Cape Town crash.
Speculating on her cause of death, now proven correct, Jacobs added: “The spleen is involved in fighting off infections, and that could have had something to do with what happened.
“Her spleen not being there just added to the reason why she perhaps couldn’t fight it off.”
Volker mourned his fianceé’s untimely passing in a brief video posted to Instagram, thanking her supporters for their condolences.
He said: “Hi, everyone. I wanted to just post a picture of Charlbi, but it’s a bit hard.
“And I just wanted to let you know I see all your messages, all the love, and I appreciate it.
“I really do. It’s just I can’t really reply to them right now. But thank you, guys. I appreciate it. I love you.”
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Triangle of Sadness writer/director Ruben Östlund also posted a tribute to Dean.
He wrote: “Charlbi’s sudden passing is a shock and a tragedy. It is an honour to have gotten to know and work with her.
“Charlbi had a care and sensitivity that lifted her colleagues and the entire film crew.
“The thought that she will not be by our side in the future makes me very sad.
“At this difficult time, my thoughts go out to her loved ones, her family and her fiancé, Luke.”
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