Richard Carpenter: I know enough, having gone through what I did, that you DON’T check yourself into the Regency Hotel and see a therapist for an hour a day and not on the weekends. It’s like an alcoholic saying ‘Okay, I’m going to check myself into the Regency Hotel and I’ll go see some guy an hour a day’! It DOESN’T WORK! I still don’t know whether she was just halfheartedly doing it to appease us, or whether she really felt that it would work. But I knew, and a number of others felt, that it couldn’t – here she was, one hour a day! And she’d WALK from the hotel to burn off more calories! It couldn’t work – and it didn’t.
Of course under the therapist’s care her weight went down, down, down and because he wasn’t a doctor, he couldn’t check her into a hospital, so he got a doctor associate to check her in, and they gave her hyperalimentation, with the tube in her neck to feed her. And THAT’S the only way they got the weight on her.
Now, she came back in Thanksgiving in late November of ’82 and she was 108lbs. And in her defense, the day she died – February 4th of ’83 – she was 108lbs. So, after being stuck in the hospital and being away from everybody… maybe she was turning the corner, because she did not lose a pound between November and February.
But you see, we got into a tiff because… she didn’t look well. I don’t mean weight-wise, but her eyes – I could see it in her eyes. And I was REALLY concerned. And I said a couple of things and I guess it got back to her and she just read me the Riot Act! I remember I was shopping at a department store called the ‘Broadway’ one night, and I came out and there she was in her car! Just waiting in the parking lot for me to come out! And of course she went through this whole thing again, that she is getting better, not to criticise all the time… She was eloquent, articulate, she just spelled the whole thing out and made me feel like a… creep! And I told her ‘Karen, the only reason I’m mentioning all of this to people is, I don’t feel you’re well. Yes, your weight is up and you may be doing your damned best’, but I told her, ‘I look at you – you DON’T LOOK WELL!’ And I said, ‘I’m only bringing this up because I love you’. And then there were like a few days and… that was that – she was dead.
The Coroner’s report stated that death was due to ‘heartbeat irregularities brought on by chemical imbalances associated with anorexia nervosa’.