Eagles of Death Metal’s Jesse Hughes in Legal Battle Over Care of Fiancée Who’s in a Coma
Tuesday Cross, an entertainer who's played bass and keyboards in Eagles of Death Metal and is the fiancée of EODM bandleader Jesse Hughes, is currently in a coma at Glendale Memorial Hospital outside of Los Angeles, according to Billboard.
Hughes claims he's been prevented from seeing her, and he's now in a legal battle over her care.
Cross, the 31-year-old whose real name is Marina Cardenas, has been in a vegetative state for about six weeks after an asthma attack sent her into cardiac arrest. Hughes alleges an EEG test suggested Cross suffered brain damage, and he's indicated the hospital isn't treating her adequately because of it.
"The love of my life is going to die," Hughes tells Billboard. "I believe the hospital wants to end her life. She deserves to live. … What if she never wakes up? What if I can't ever talk to her again? The hospital made up their minds long ago that they didn't want to treat her."
Hughes partnered with Life Legal Defense Foundation to petition Glendale Memorial and Cross' estranged mother, Maria Gaytan, after he says the hospital took direction on Cross' care from Gaytan instead of him.
Hughes claims he holds Cross' power of attorney to make such decisions. (He and Cross got engaged in 2016, the year after Eagles of Death Metal found themselves thrust into the November 2015 Paris attacks during their show at the city's Bataclan theater. Cross was there that night — she was due to play keyboards onstage with EODM before the attack unfolded.)
After Cross was hospitalized in January, Hughes says Gaytan agreed to allow him to direct her care. In a court filing, a text message Gaytan sent to Hughes reads, "Okay just called [the hospital] to let them know that you will be making decisions since she has been living with you for the last 13 years and practically married and that you will speak to me before consenting anything." In another, she said, "I am going to follow anything you say, I trust you."
But Gaytan reportedly changed her mind after an ICU doctor "recommended that Cross be extubated [and] given a tracheostomy, a surgical procedure that enables a person’s trachea to receive direct access to a breathing tube, and that Cross be fitted with a G tube, a surgically planted device that gives direct access to a patient’s stomach for feeding," Billboard reported.
Gayton approved the procedures, but Hughes wanted more time to consider the recommendations, the hospital said in a response. On Feb. 1, Gaytan reportedly informed the hospital that she was no longer comfortable with Hughes being the decision-maker, and the hospital then put her in charge.
Hughes says the hospital did not inform him of the change and that he learned about it from Gaytan. Hughes also claims a June 2021 document signed by Cross (after she was admitted to Glendale Memorial in a similar incident) gives him power of attorney over her health care.
Cross, who uses an asthma inhaler, collapsed on Jan. 23 after coming down with a cough she evidently believed was from using spray paint for graffiti. In a hospital declaration filed in response to Hughes' petition, Glendale Memorial said Hughes "reported the patient had recently been smoking crack or meth" when she was admitted. Hughes maintains this was a precaution and he was unaware if she took any drugs. Hughes says Cross tested positive for COVID-19 after she was admitted.
When Billboard sought comment from Glendale Memorial, a hospital rep said, "We cannot disclose any information regarding any patient due to HIPAA regulations and California privacy laws."
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Cross. Donate here.