Charlie Trotter death update: Wife says travel wasn't fatal

Her statement doesn't match a police report, which says family said he should not fly

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Charlie Trotter in 2012

Charlie Trotter at his restaurant in Chicago. (Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune / August 27, 2012)

Chef Charlie Trotter suffered a seizure in January as a result of an aneurysm and was on medication but had been cleared to travel, according to a statement from his wife that disputed reports that a weekend trip to a culinary conference in Wyoming contributed to her husband's death.

"In January, Charlie was treated for a seizure as a result of an aneurysm which was discovered at that time," Rochelle Trotter said in a statement emailed to the Tribune and other news outlets. "His doctors prescribed the proper medication to control seizures, his blood pressure and high cholesterol and he was seen by a number of medical experts who cleared him to travel.

"He returned home from his most recent trip Monday night without incident. The autopsy indicates that his travel is not connected to his death."

A police report, however, quotes family as saying he had been ordered by doctors not to fly.

"Per the family, victim was on medication for seizures, high blood (p)ressure and high cholesterol," states the report, filed after Trotter was found unresponsive Tuesday morning by his son in their Lincoln Park home. "He recently flew to Wyoming against doctor's advice. The wife states he has been drinking as well."

The Tribune previously reported that Larry Stone, Charlie Trotter's longtime sommelier and friend, said the chef told him about a brain aneurysm and had been told by doctors that he should not be flying, should not be at high altitudes and should not exert himself because of the resulting pressure on his brain.

A call to Rochelle Trotter was not returned, but in her statement she said she was trying to clear up "inaccuracies."

"This is obviously a difficult time as we are still processing our grief," the statement reads. "As his family and I focus upon putting Charlie's body to rest, we hope that this will settle the inaccuracies that have been reported and we can move forward in honoring Charlie's life on Monday. We ask for your patience and continued respect of our privacy."

A memorial for Charlie Trotter, open to the public, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut St., Chicago.

mcaro@tribune.com

rsobol@tribune.com

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