Cause of Death Released for Keisha Whitaker, Ex-Wife of Forest Whitaker

05 January 2014 - Santa Barbara, California - Keisha Whitaker. Santa Barbara International Film Festival's 8th Annual Kirk Douglas Award For Excellence In Film honoring Forest Whitaker held at The Bacara Resort and Spa. — Photo by s_bukley/Deposit Photos

The cause of death has been released for actress, producer and former model, Keisha Nash Whitaker.

Whitaker, who was the ex-wife of Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker, passed away just before midnight on Dec. 6. She was 51.

According to the death certificate obtained on Tuesday, Jan. 2, by TMZ, Whitaker died from alcoholic liver disease. The certificate says acute renal failure, a symptom of anorexia, was a significant contributing factor in her death.

Acute renal or kidney failure occurs when the kidneys become unable to filter waste products from the blood, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Whitaker’s death certificate was issued by Los Angeles County and says she was being treated at Northridge Hospital Medical Center, in the city of L.A., when she passed away.

Related StoryActor Andre Braugher’s Cause of Death Released

Forest Whitaker and Keisha Whitaker at the 2008 Film Independent's Spirit Awards. Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA. 02-23-08 — Photo by s_bukley/Deposit Photos
Forest Whitaker and Keisha Whitaker at the 2008 Film Independent Spirit Awards. (Credit: S. Bukley/Deposit Photos)

The mother-of-three was born Keisha Nash on March 8, 1972, in Lynn, Massachusetts, according to her IMDb page.

She modeled for over a decade. Whitaker also had a role in the 2004 film Proud and served as a producer on the 2008 movie Kassim the Dream. She launched a luxury cosmetics line called Kissable Couture.

In an interview several years ago with Oprah.com, Whitaker explained why she and makeup artist A.J. Crimson partnered to create the cosmetics line.

“I’ve always been very ambitious. When my kids were younger, I tried to start a clothing line for children. But you have to be really committed to a new business, and at that time I was more focused on being a mother,” she said.

“I was on a set, working as a host on a party-planning television show, and a makeup artist offered me a new product she had created,” Whitaker added. “I thought it was just okay. Two days later, I had lunch with A.J., who’d been given the same product. I realized then that we could design a much better, more successful line.”

Keisha met Forest Whitaker while working together on the 1994 film Blown Away. They married in 1996, and divorced in 2018.

The two shared daughters Sonnet Noel, 27, and True, 25. She also had daughter Autumn from a previous relationship and he had son Ocean from another relationship.

True Whitaker shared the news of her mom’s passing in an Instagram Story.

“Goodbye mommy. I love you 4ever and beyond,” she wrote. “The most beautiful woman in the world…thank you for teaching me every single thing I know. I’ll see you in my dreams and I’ll feel you in my heart.”