An inquest into the death of Zoe Ball’s boyfriend Billy Yates has revealed that the Radio 2 DJ tried to help the ‘love of her life’ before he sadly committed suicide in May 2017.
The inquest has revealed that Zoe, who dated the cameraman after splitting from husband Norman Cook, paid for a two-week stay for him in well-known rehab facility The Priory.
It was also made public that Billy suffered a long battle with depression prior to his death at age 41, and that he had attempted suicide before, by crashing his car during a panic attack in November 2016, according to The Mirror.
During the inquest, it was also revealed that Billy may not have meant to kill himself, as he had consumed large amounts of alcohol on the day – and was over the drink-drive limit.
He had previously been sober since August 2016, and reportedly attended an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting two days before his death.
A friend of Billy’s, Brad Abbotts, discovered his body in Billy’s bathroom.
At the inquest, he revealed, “I was friends with Billy for the last 15 years. We kept in regular contact and I am aware that in the last five years Billy suffered depression and it got so bad that he tried to crash his car.
“It was a cry that he needed help. He received treatment for his injuries and he was admitted to The Priory where he was for two weeks on a voluntary basis.
“I received a text from a friend asking if I had heard from Billy. I left Cobham just before 6pm to check on his welfare and got there at about 6.30pm.
“I went up the stairs and I knocked on the door and there was no answer, I pushed against the door and it opened. Straight away I saw Billy lying on the floor with his hands by his side.
Billy’s family also issued a statement, read by the coroners office. They shared a touching tribute to their late relative. The statement also revealed that Billy and Zoe – who were together for a year before his death in May 2017, were ‘the love of each others life’.
They said, “William was known and loved by a great number of people and was a sweetheart to many.
“Working in TV, cast and crew knew that if Billy was on the job they would be having a good time.
“That was where Billy met Zoe. They had a friendship and beautiful relationship, they were the love of each others life.
“William lived his life in something of a whirlwind. He suffered greatly from depression which plagued him on and off for years, but life became too much for him.”
It was ruled that Billy’s death was as a result of asphyxiation due to a ligature.
Zoe has previously spoken about that fact that she almost blamed herself for not being able to ‘save’ her boyfriend.
She said, “I sometimes think, ‘I’m a resourceful woman, I’m a bright woman… why could I not save him?’
“And then I have to stop and say, ‘Everyone who loved him knew. None of us found an answer, none of us saved him.'”