POP Idol star Darius Campbell Danesh worried pals by going “off-grid” in the months before his death.
The Scottish singer, 41, who was found dead in a US apartment, would take weeks to respond to messages and seemed “a bit lost” when he finally replied, friends said.
The star was found dead in bed in an apartment block next to the renowned Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, on August 11.
His death was announced five days later. The cause is not yet known, though his family, who are waiting for post mortem examination reports, said there were “no signs of intent’’.
The block houses staff and users of the unit’s rehab clinic, but it is not known if Darius was receiving treatment.
A friend who knew him for over 20 years, said: “Someone got in touch with me to say, ‘Can you try to contact Darius? He’s gone off-grid and I’m worried’.
“I sent him a message asking how he was and told him people were trying to get hold of him. He replied nearly two weeks later.
“That was unusual for him. He was usually very engaging and would respond quickly.
“When he did get back, the reply was to say ‘thanks for getting in touch, love you and apologies for the tardy response’. It was very odd.
“It was like I was speaking to a stranger. I spoke to him afterwards but he seemed like he may have been a bit lost.”
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Darius told his friend he was “taking time out to focus on myself”.
Hollywood star Gerard Butler, 52, who struck up a close friendship with his fellow Scot, had visited the apartment.
He was in the last picture of Darius in Malibu in June. He paid tribute to his pal, calling him a “true brother in arms”.
The Sun revealed last week how Darius — who came third on Pop Idol in 2002 — was in talks over a potential reunion special being planned by producers Thames TV.
His friend continued: “Darius was a complex soul who had his demons. He’d had therapy for depression before.
“I think he struggled and there seemed to be a couple of different Dariuses.”