Actress Natasha Richardson has been declared brain dead after a ski accident Monday at Mont Tremblant ski resort, according to an unconfirmed report. The New York Post said friends of the actress say she is brain dead.
A spokesperson at Sacre Ceur Hospital in Montreal, where Richardson, 45, was taken Monday night, would only say Richardson is no longer in Canada, information she recieved from a spokesperson for Richardson’s family. Richardson was feeling fine for nearly an hour Monday after falling on a beginner’s run during a private ski lesson, Mont Tremblant resort spokesperson Catherine Lacasse said.
“She was laughing and joking and she walked to her room on her own,” Lacasse said.
The British-born Richardson was not wearing a ski helmet during ski lesson on the Nansen, a beginners’ run at Mont Tremblant, she added. Richardson, wife of actor Liam Neeson and daughter of actress Vanessa Redgrave, was at the bottom of the run, in what is known as the flats, during the mid-afternoon lesson when she fell and tumbled down the hill. Media reports said her two sons with Neeson, Micheal Richard Antonio, 13, and Daniel Jack, 12, were skiing with her at the time of the accident.
She did not hit anyone or anything before coming to a stop. The ski instructor was by her side within seconds, Lacasse said. There was no external sign of injury, no cut or bleeding, Lacasse said. Two ski patrollers assisted Richardson but she was not put on a stretcher, Lacasse said. Richardson walked to her room at the resort’s Quintessence Hotel, where she had been staying since Sunday. The patrollers stayed with her for an hour. She started having headaches and she was transported to the Centre Hospitalier Laurentien, not far from the ski hill.
Richardson was later transferred to the intensive care unit at Sacré Coeur Hospital in Montreal. A spokesperson for the hospital would, not however, confirm or deny that she was still there on Tuesday. Corin Redgrave, Richardson’s uncle, told London’s Evening standard newspaper: “I have heard this morning from a family representative about Natasha’s accident and am very saddened.” Britain’s BBC said a member of Richardson family, who asked not to be named, said the whole family was “very distressed”.
Richardson’s husband, actor Liam Neeson, 56, came to Montreal from a Toronto film set to be at his wife’s side, according to a spokesperson for Neeson.
“Liam Neeson left the Toronto set immediately to fly to Montreal upon news of his wife’s accident,” the rep said in a statement. A media report said Neeson and his two sons were at Richardson’s hospital bedside. “We do not have any details at this time but we hope for the best and our thoughts and prayers are with Natasha and Liam and their family.”
Agence France-Presse and Reuter contributed to this report.
-via Vancouver Sun
Update: The hospital told TMZ that Richardson is suffering from brain swelling, and is not, in fact, brain dead.