One of Mac Miller‘s closest friends is speaking out about the late rapper’s battle with addiction, and how his ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande was “unbelievably involved and helpful” in getting him sober and healthy.
On Monday, Shane Powers opened up about Miller’s death on his podcast, The Shane Show — explaining that when Miller and Grande were dating, she has a positive influence on him.
“They were very much in love and I have to say, she was incredible when he was first sobering up,” Powers said. “She was a f—ing G to him. There could not have been anybody more supportive of him being sober than Ariana. I saw that, I was around it, I took phone calls from her. ‘How do I help? What do I do?’ This little girl was unbelievably involved and helpful to him being healthy.”
“Whether he’s an addict or not, the way that Mac partied was not healthy,” Powers added. “[And] there was no one in his life more ready to go to the wall for him when it came to him being sober. She was an unbelievably stabilizing force in his life and she was deeply helpful and effective in keeping Mac sober and helping him get sober. She was all about him being healthy. Period.”
Grande, 25, was forced to shut off her Instagram comments in the wake of Miller’s death after trolls blamed her for his suspected overdose. She and Miller split in late April after two years of dating. Grande is currently engaged to Pete Davidson.
Miller, whose real name was Malcolm McCormick, was pronounced dead at 11:51 a.m. at his Studio City, California, home on Friday, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed in a statement to PEOPLE. He was 26.
A cause of death is yet to be determined, but a source told PEOPLE that Miller had gone into cardiac arrest after appearing to suffer a drug overdose.
Throughout his life, Miller was very open about his struggles with drugs and sobriety. Following his Macadelic tour in 2012 and the release of his first studio album Blue Slide Park, Miller admitted he turned to drugs to cope with stress. “I love lean; it’s great… I was not happy and I was on lean very heavy,” Miller told Complex in 2013. “I was so f—ed up all the time it was bad. My friends couldn’t even look at me the same. I was lost.”
While Miller attempted to turn his life around within the past couple of years, he was arrested for DUI in May, days after his breakup from Grande made headlines.
That had trolls attacking Grande again, though she defended herself on Twitter.
“How absurd that you minimize female self-respect and self-worth by saying someone should stay in a toxic relationship,” she clapped back, in part, on Twitter. “I am not a babysitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be … I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety & prayed for his balance for years (and always will of course) but shaming/blaming women for a man’s inability to keep his s—together is a very major problem.”
Still, Grande remained respectful of Miller. In an Instagram Story at the time of their breakup she called him “one of my best friends in the whole world and favorite people on the planet” — adding, “I respect and adore him endlessly and am grateful to have him in my life in any form, at all times regardless of how our relationship changes or what the universe holds for each of us!”
Miller also opened up about the split during a conversation with Zane Lowe on Beats 1 on Apple Music in July, explaining that both he and Grande had moved on since their split. “I was in love with somebody. We were together for two years. We worked through good times, bad times, stress and everything else. And then it came to an end and we both moved on. And it’s that simple,” he said.
“It’s all positive energy,” he added. “I am happy for her and [the fact that she’s] moving forward with her life, just as I’m sure she is with me.”
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Grande remembered Miller by posting a black-and-white photograph of the two.
In the picture, Miller stares up at the camera while sitting on the grass. A pair of tennis shoes, presumably Grande’s, can be seen between his legs.
Choosing to let the image speak for itself, Grande shared the image without a caption.