Accused dealer denies selling heroin to Philip Seymour Hoffman

Robert Vineberg stares at a camera during his arraignment in court in New York February 5, 2014....

Robert Vineberg stares at a camera during his arraignment in court in New York February 5, 2014. REUTERS/Steven Hirsch/Pool

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, Last Updated: 12:45 PM ET

The musician accused of selling drugs to Philip Seymour Hoffman is adamant he is not responsible for the actor’s death, insisting he has been made a “scapegoat” as the star was a “hard-core addict”.

Robert Vineberg, also known by his stage name of Robert Aaron, was one of four people arrested following a raid on a New York apartment on Tuesday night as police investigated the source of heroin found at the late actor’s home.

The 57-year-old has denied a charge of felony possession of heroin with intent to supply, and has now spoken out to insist he had nothing to do with Hoffman’s death from a suspected overdose.

Vineberg, who has worked with stars including Wyclef Jean and Amy Winehouse, tells the New York Post, “He was my friend. I could’ve saved him. If I knew he was in town, I would’ve said, ’Hey, let’s make an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting.’ If I was with him, it wouldn’t have happened. Not under my guard... He was a normal guy.... He loved his kids. I offer my condolences to his family.”

Vineberg goes on to claim he last saw the Capote star in October and received a message from the actor two months later, when he claimed to be sober: “He left me a voicemail in December saying, ’I’m clean’.”

The musician is convinced Hoffman’s attempts to clean up actually worked against him when he relapsed, adding, “When you’re clean for that long of a time, your body can’t take as much. Your body doesn’t have the tolerance. He was using needles. He was a hard-core addict... Don’t you understand? I’m a scapegoat.”

Vineberg lawyer adds, “All of the evidence adduced to date has indicated that Robert did not provide to Mr. Hoffman the narcotics that caused his unfortunate death... Robert and Mr. Hoffman were true friends who had bonded over and struggled with the dangerous use of narcotic drugs.”

Hoffman was found dead at his New York City apartment on February 2. An autopsy proved inconclusive and officials are waiting for the results of toxicology tests to determine how the actor died.

 


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