- Jewel, a longtime friend and business partner of Tony Hsieh, reportedly made multiple to save the tech exec.
- Hsieh died in a house fire in November 2020 following several months of deteriorating mental health.
- A new biography said that Jewel visited his home months before his death.
Singer-songwriter Jewel made multiple attempts to save former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh after a harrowing visit to his Park City, Utah home shed light on his rapidly deteriorating mental state prior to his death, according to a new biography.
Hsieh’s death, which had been ruled an accident from injuries sustained in a house fire, came following months of troubling behavior from the entrepreneur and rapidly declining mental health. Jewel, a longtime friend and business partner of Hsieh, was among those close to him to witness his demise.
According to a forthcoming biography of Hsieh excerpted in the Wall Street Journal — “Happy at Any Cost, The Revolutionary Vision and Fatal Quest of Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh” by Kirsten Grind and Katherine Sayre — Jewel visited his mansion in August 2020, where he had been hosting a rotating roster of high-profile guests. When she arrived, she found it in complete disarray, covered in dog feces and wax from hundreds of burning candles left around the house, as sinks and showers ran continuously, according to the report.
The singer reportedly found Hsieh in the backyard, emaciated and sitting in a chair in his underwear surrounded by canisters of nitrous oxide, which he had been openly abusing at the time. According to the Journal, he then presented her with a box where he had written a series of unintelligible numbers he said was “the algorithm for world peace.”
Jewel — who had previously worked with Hsieh to develop a mental health program for Zappos employees — learned that Hsieh had also stopped sleeping and claimed he had “hacked” the ability to need it. Concerned, she spoke with Hsieh’s staff and head of security, who claimed had been following orders to leave the tech exec and his home in its state.
“If he kills himself and everyone else in there from a huge fire, you can’t say you weren’t warned,” Jewel told the security officer, according to the biography.
The new details come after a December 2020 Forbes report found Jewel had sent Hsieh a letter via FedEx shortly after leaving Park City that August.
“I am going to be blunt,” she wrote in the letter, which was reviewed by Forbes. “I need to tell you that I don’t think you are well and in your right mind. I think you are taking too many drugs that cause you to disassociate.”
She continued: “The people you are surrounding yourself with are either ignorant or willing to be complicit in you killing yourself.”
Hsieh would later die a few months later from injuries sustained in a house fire in Connecticut in November 2020, after he was either trapped or barricaded in the basement. Though his death was ruled an accident, the details around it still remain under investigation.