We’re still getting shivers every time we think about what could make someone dismember a cat with his bare hands, as Johnny Lewis is said to have done before allegedly murdering his landlady and then jumping or falling to his death on Wednesday. But what’s even more confusing is reconciling that with the quotes coming from many fellow actors who remember the 28-year-old as an entirely different person.
“He was the nicest guy,” Nikki Reed told E! Online of Lewis, who appeared with her on The O.C. back in 2006. “I never thought anything but great things about him. I have nothing to say except that he was a really nice guy. It’s just crazy.”
Raising Hope star Shannon Woodward — who we think knew Lewis through his ex-girlfriend Katy Perry —tweeted yesterday, “Johnny Lewis, I love you deeply and madly and always. My heart is broken in a million little pieces. I will miss you every day.” She also said, “He was very, very ill. His actions were a despicable result of that. It was not who he was.”
And meanwhile a source told Us Weekly that Perry knew he had problems back when they dated from 2005-2006.
“She had to separate from him … to get ahead and focus on her career,” the source said. “He was in trouble then and she couldn’t help him. A lot of her songs were partially inspired by him. I know ‘The One That Got Away’ and ‘Circle the Drain’ are partly about him, as well as Travis [McCoy of Gym Class Heroes]. But she was young and it was a time in her life she cherishes.”
Sources close to Lewis’ family told TMZ that the actor had been mentally healthy until he tried a drug that triggered a psychotic break, then he began to self-medicate to treat “co-occurring disorders.” Conspiracy theorists are also throwing in speculation about his involvement in Scientology, which we suspect may just be muddying the waters of a sad story.
We’re not sure if looking at photos of the late actor in happier times is satisfying our morbid curiosity or making this all more depressing, but if you’d like to participate in either, check out the gallery above.
[Photo: Getty Images]