David Hockney’s assistant has died as a result of misadventure after drinking acid and binging on a range of drugs, a coroner has ruled. The inquest into the death of Dominic Kent Elliott an assistant to the British painter resumed on Friday (30th August) Thursday’s session found that he had died after drinking toilet cleaner during a drink and drugs binge with the artist’s former partner of 24 years John Fitzherbert.
The post mortem also found cocaine, ecstasy and temazepam in his bloodstream when he ingested the sulphuric acid in March. He was rushed to hospital by his boyfriend John Fitzherbert. who had been Hockney’s partner of 24 years and died of acute peritonitis.
Mr Elliott who worked for Hockney as a driver and studio assistant has been depicted in several portraits by the internationally renowned artist. Hockney’s publicist told a news wire service he was “too upset to comment at the moment”. Erica Bolton of Boulton and Quinn PR, in London explained that, Mr Elliott had worked for Hockney for more than two years and “was a hugely valued member of the team”. Elliott was also part of the team that mounted the popular Royal Academy exhibition last year.
Artwork by David Hockney (L) Dominic Kent Elliott, (Middle) David Hockney Self Portrait, (R) John Fitzherbert