To some, River Phoenix was the epitome of the live fast, die young lifestyle. But those closest to the actor – who tragically died shortly after his 23rd birthday – remember a very different personality. Now, on the eve of the 25th anniversary of his death, Phoenix’s former girlfriend has painted a new picture of the tortured artist’s final hours.
To say that River Phoenix had a difficult upbringing would be an understatement. Born to hippie parents, the future star lived at the mercy of the cult Children of God. Through the sect, Phoenix endured a life full of nomadic uprooting, bouts of poverty and – most alarmingly – sexual abuse.