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Oil fortune heir Andrew Getty found dead

Andrew Getty
Andrew Getty

A man found dead in a Los Angeles home is Getty oil fortune heir Andrew Getty, his family have said.

A statement from the Getty family said 47-year-old Andrew Getty died at the Hollywood Hills home but provided no further details on the death.

His parents, Ann and Gordon Getty, asked that the media and public respect the family's privacy. They say further statements will be issued as information becomes available.

Police and coroner's officials have so far declined to identify the man or say how he died.

But they confirmed that a woman called police to the home and officers found a man dead in a bathroom.

Andrew Getty is a grandson of J Paul Getty and one of four sons of Gordon Getty, a multibillionaire who is considered one of the richest men in the US.

Police said the women who called to report that someone had died at the gated home on Montcalm Avenue was co-operating with the investigation, and had not been arrested.

Coroner's vans and news trucks were parked outside the century-old luxury home on one of the winding roads in the hills that are home to many of the film industry elite.

J Paul Getty was an industrialist who founded the Getty Oil Company and was at one point named the richest living American by Fortune magazine. He had five sons and died in 1976 aged 82.

He was an avid collector of art and antiquities, and the Getty name is best known in the Los Angeles area for the museum that houses much of it, along with many other high-priced artworks bought since his death.

Another Getty grandson, J Paul Getty III, lost an ear in a grisly kidnapping in Rome when he was a teenager.

The family reportedly stalled on paying a ransom, and the kidnappers cut off part of his ear, sending the severed organ to a newspaper to prove they had taken him captive.

The oil heir, then 16, was freed after five months in captivity and a payment of 2.7 million US dollars (£1.82 million). He died in 2011 aged 54.

Los Angeles County coroner's investigators say the death of Andrew Getty is most likely from natural causes or an accident.

Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter says the death appears to be natural, but it has been tentatively ruled an accident because of medication found at the scene.