Dean, 55, was pronounced dead at the apartment of Ed Buck, 64, on Monday after police responded to a report of a person not breathing. Dean is the second gay Black man in 18 months to die at Buck’s West Hollywood apartment, reported the Associated Press.
In 2018, 26-year-old Gemmel Moore was found dead on a mattress in Buck’s living room. Moore died of an apparent overdose of methamphetamine.
A graphic photo of Buck and Moore shows the two lying on the mattress with drug paraphernalia scattered across the bed. Moore is visibly emaciated in the photo.
In Moore’s case, prosecutors didn’t file criminal charges, citing insufficient evidence.
Buck’s attorney, Seymour Amster, said at the time that Buck and Moore were friends and his client had nothing to do with the death. Amster told reporters Monday that Buck was cooperating with the investigation into Dean’s death, which he called an accidental overdose.
Amster also said Dean was an “old-time friend” of Buck’s who showed up at his apartment after he “had been partying, apparently, and had already taken some substances.”
“There are some individuals in our society who have a huge heart, maybe bigger than what they should have, and they allow individuals to come over … and then things happen after — not being involved in their death, trying to help them and counsel them to change their ways,” Amster said. “But this is what happens.”
While Buck claims Dean’s death was just an accident, protesters have begun organizing outside of his home with the hopes that criminal charges are filed. Many of the demonstrators believe that if the victims were white, the cases would be investigated further.
Sheriff’s officials say the investigation into Dean’s death will include a review of Moore’s death.
Dean worked at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, according to his roommate, and was looking forward to meeting new fitness and professional goals this year.
Dean and his basketball team won a gold medal in the Gay Games in Sydney in 2002.
Before the deaths of the men, Buck was known as a donor to Democrats who has given thousands of dollars to candidates such as California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu, a California Democrat, said he was “deeply disturbed” by the disclosure of a second death at Buck’s home and would donate $18,500 in contributions he received from Buck to LGBT and African-American charities.