Kristoff St. John's son Julian died by suicide in 2014 at the age of 24 following a lifelong battle with mental illness

By Aurelie Corinthios
February 04, 2019 12:43 PM
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Two weeks before he was found dead, Kristoff St. John mourned the loss of his son, who died by suicide four years ago.

The Young and the Restless star, who died Sunday at age 52, was last active on Twitter on Jan. 21, when he retweeted someone’s post about losing a child that reads, “Grieving the loss of a child is a process. It begins on the day your child passes, and ends the day the parent joins them.”

“Never a truer word was spoke,” St. John tweeted. “Thanks for posting this.”

The soap star and ex-wife Mia St. John’s son Julian died by suicide on Nov. 23, 2014, at the age of 24 following a lifelong battle with mental illness. He was reportedly found unresponsive in the bathroom of a Long Beach, California, facility.

According to a 2013 Huffington Post profile, Julian, an artist, was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 18 and had endured bouts of severe depression since he was a child.

“Our son was the light of our lives, an artist with a beautiful mind and spirit,” said Mia, who went on to found the El Saber es Poder (Knowledge is Power) Foundation to battle mental illness, in a statement at the time. “He fought long and hard against an illness for which there is no cure. Unfortunately, the pain became too great for him and I dare not say he lost the battle — he simply chose to set himself free. My fight for mental health will continue. They may not find a cure in my lifetime, but we can try and prevent the loss of another beautiful soul.”

Credit: Julian St. John/Facebook; Robert Voets/CBS/Getty

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed to PEOPLE on Monday that St. John was found dead at a home in Woodland Hills on Sunday. He was pronounced deceased at 4:02 p.m. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, a death investigation took place at around 2:05 p.m. for a possible alcohol overdose at the 2300 block of Morea Way. TMZ first reported the news.

Credit: Gabe Ginsberg/Getty

The actor’s lawyer Mark Geragos addressed the news on Twitter, writing: “Few men had the unique strength, courage & sensitivity that @kristoffstjohn1 lived every single minute of every day. He impacted everyone he met and millions who he inspired and in turn admired him. On behalf of @MiaStJohnBoxer & @TheStJohnFamily thank you for all of your love.”

In 2017, St. John, who has played Neil Winters on CBS’ The Young and the Restless since 1991, underwent psychiatric treatment after a reported scare regarding his mental health. According to TMZ, he threatened to kill himself with a gun and was placed under a 72-hour hold for psychiatric evaluation.

In a statement to Entertainment Tonight at the time, Mia blasted reports about the incident.

“I want the world to know the truth about what is happening with Kristoff, because currently there is inaccurate, and fabricated information being reported by certain online outlets,” she said. “No parent should ever have to bury their child, and for those who do, it is a nightmare that haunts you forever. The death of our beloved son Julian has taken a toll on both of us. He is an actor and while he may appear whole on the outside, his heart is broken. As a society, we need to start taking mental health seriously and realize that no one is immune.”

Mia, 51, addressed St. John’s death on Monday in a since-deleted tweet obtained by TMZ, writing: “THAT HOSPITAL KILLED OUR SON @TheArtofJulian THEN MY HUSBAND @kristoffstjohn1 THATS WHAT HAPPENED! THEY KILLED MY FAMILY.”

St. John is survived by his fiancée, Kseniya Mikhaleva, as well as daughter Paris with Mia and daughter Lola with ex-wife Allana Nadal.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.