Even his wife Jamie Watchel talked about her late husband, insisting he didn't die from drug use.
But now, the 48-year-old artist's ex-wife, Mary Fosberg Weiland, is telling her tale in a new letter written in Rolling Stone with the help of their two teenage kids, Noah, and Lucy.
"The outpouring of condolences and prayers offered to our children, Noah and Lucy, has been overwhelming, appreciated and even comforting. But the truth is, like so many other kids, they lost their father years ago. What they truly lost on December 3rd was hope."
The two were married in 2000 and split seven years later, but she always had hope he would get his life back together. The former model continued, writing on behalf of their children: