The cause of Charlbi Dean’s death has been revealed after the South African actor and model succumbed to a sudden illness in Aug.
The 32-year-old died of bacterial sepsis, the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner told People on Wednesday. The sepsis “was a complication from asplenia” — or the absence of a spleen — an office spokesperson said. Dean’s death was ruled by an accident.
Doctors had removed the actor’s spleen in 2009 after a car crash, which had also broken her back and multiple ribs.
Before she died, Dean was infected with bacteria called Capnocytophaga, People wrote. Such germs are commonly found in the mouths of humans, dogs and cats, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, they can cause infections in people with weakened immune systems, including those who have had their spleens removed.
Shortly after Dean’s death, her brother, Alex Jacobs, told Rolling Stone that the actor was staying in New York with her fiancé when she began experiencing “minor” symptoms and went to the emergency room. She died hours later, 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,” Jacobs said in August, adding that he was awaiting autopsy results to find out the cause of her illness.
Dean had several film credits to his name and most recently starred in “Triangle of Sadness,” which won the Cannes Film Festival’s highest honor, the Palme d’Or, earlier this year.
Her résumé then included the 2016 thriller “Blood in the Water,” the 2017 horror film “Don’t Sleep” and the 2018 drama “An Interview With God.”
Dean began modeling at age 14, appearing in shoots for brands like Guess, Gucci, Ralph Lauren and United Colors of Benetton, as well as for the cover of Vogue.