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No Foul Play in Death of Lobbyist

March 05, 2005|John Hendren and Richard Winton | Times Staff Writers

The death of Republican media advisor R. Gregory Stevens, whose body was found in a guest room at the Los Angeles home of friend and actress Carrie Fisher, did not involve foul play, an official said Friday.

"No foul play is suspected," said Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman David Campbell.

Stevens, 42, had served as co-chairman of the Bush/Cheney Entertainment Task Force during the 2004 campaign.

He was found dead last Saturday. An autopsy has been conducted, but a cause of death won't be determined until further tests are conducted, Campbell said.

According to a colleague at the Washington, D.C., lobbying firm of Barbour, Griffith & Rogers, preliminary results suggested that the 42-year-old's heart failed.

"It's pointing toward just a heart failure and, unfortunately, a tragic incident," said Loren Monroe, chief operating officer of Barbour, Griffith. "He just had gone to bed that evening, and they found him the next morning."

Fisher, the daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and actor Eddie Fisher, is author of several books, including "Postcards From the Edge."

She is most widely known for playing Princess Leia in the original "Star Wars" trilogy.

Stevens, who also served on the 2001 presidential inaugural committee, was known as a flamboyant contrarian in the capital's socially conservative political circles.

"In Washington, we tend to take ourselves way too seriously," Monroe said while on his way to Stevens' funeral.

"He always reminded us to have fun. He just was someone who always made people laugh and helped people enjoy things instead of being always stressed out like people often are in Washington," Monroe added.

The San Clemente native rose from involvement in the California Republican Party to the Bush-Quayle campaign of 1988 and served as White House liaison to the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the elder Bush.

After President Clinton was elected, Stevens spent 1992 to 1994 as an associate with Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly, a lobbying firm based in Alexandria, Va.

Charles Black, a GOP lobbyist and partner in the firm, recalled Stevens as a young political activist who was well-connected in the Southern California-based entertainment industry, having made a rare inroad into a Democratic stronghold.

"A very smart guy, very energetic -- loved politics and campaigns," Black recalled in an interview. "He had a lot of connections in Hollywood and in the entertainment industry. He will be missed."

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