Records and photos from the scene of actor and comedian Bob Saget’s death in a Florida hotel room are prohibited from being made public after a judge issued an order Monday permanently blocking their release.
Circuit Judge Vincent Chiu said he would heed the request of Saget’s widow, Kelly Rizzo, and their daughters, according to The Associated Press.
Chiu had previously issued a temporary injunction against releasing the material, saying Saget’s family would suffer “severe mental pain, anguish, and emotional distress,” the AP reported.
Saget, 65, was found dead in an Orlando-area hotel room on Jan. 9. Police have ruled out foul play.
An autopsy report in February attributed his death to an accidental fall, most likely a fall backward. However, the report also revealed that the former star of “Full House” suffered fractures to the back, right and front of his skull.
“This is significant trauma,” Dr. Gavin Britz, chairman in neurosurgery at Houston Methodist, said after the report’s release according to The New York Times. “This is something I find with someone with a baseball bat to the head or who has fallen from 20 or 30 feet.”
In light of those comments, and the resultant social media buzz, the case drew even more probing from news organizations.
In response, Saget’s family members filed suit to block the medical examiner’s office and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office from releasing any documents concerning Saget’s death.
Florida law blocks the release of most death scene records, but that law is not airtight, according to the AP. The lawsuit filed by the family said some media outlets were filing public records requests for photos and documents.
Brian Bieber, a lawyer representing the Saget family, released the following statement, according to WFTV-TV in Orlando:
“The entire Saget family is grateful that the judge granted their request for an injunction to preserve Bob’s dignity, as well as their privacy rights, especially after suffering this unexpected and tragic loss,” the statement said.
“We are pleased this issue has been resolved, and the healing process can continue to move forward. All of the prayers and well wishes continuously extended to the family are beyond appreciated,” the statement said.
Last month, People magazine offered a theory from investigators that assumes that Saget lost consciousness in the bathroom. Authorities believe that he fell backward, striking the marble floor. At some point after that fall, Saget somewhat regained consciousness.
He then managed to get back to the hotel room bed, after which he passed out, according to the theory.