Another tragedy has hit the sports and entertainment world. Philly-born former NBA journeyman Rasual Butler who played in the league for 13 seasons and his wife, American Idol contestant Leah Labelle have been killed. The story, first reported by TMZ, says that Butler was operating his Range Rover at high-speed before crashing in the early morning hours in Studio City, California.
At around 2 a.m., Butler reportedly lost control of his Range Rover, struck a parking meter and flipped before slamming into a wall. According to TMZ, police officers believe that Butler’s car was speeding before it lost control. NBC Los Angeles reported that police said the vehicle was traveling at speeds two to three times higher than the limit.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s department confirmed Butler’s identity to USA Today.
Butler, 38, was drafted out of La Salle by the Miami Heat in the second round of the 2002 NBA draft. He went on to play for the Heat, Hornets, Clippers, Bulls, Raptors, Pacers, Wizards and Spurs from 2002 to 2016. Most recently, Butler was expected to play a second season in the BIG3 League.
Leah, who came in 12th in the third season of American Idol was discovered via a YouTube following. She had a single out ‘Sexify’ in 2012 and a self-titled debut with a joint deal with Def Jam/So So Def and Pharell Williams’ label I Am Other but had released no album projects since. She sang background with Keri Hilson, Jordin Sparks and Eric Benet.
Incredibly sad news to hear about Rasual Butler and his wife Leah. Prayers to both of their families through this tough time.
— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) January 31, 2018
We join the NBA family in mourning the tragic loss of Rasual Butler and his wife Leah. He played 2 seasons with the Hornets when they were in OKC and a portion of the 2013 season with our Tulsa 66ers. Our hearts go out to all who knew and loved him. Rest In Peace Sual Bop. pic.twitter.com/VZCO9meoHp
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) January 31, 2018
— Lamont Junior (@LamontJunior) January 31, 2018
— Fantasia (@TasiasWord) January 31, 2018
Damn this one hurts! RIP Rasual Butler & his wife Leah. Sounds so cliche, but Rasual was really one of the good ones!!
— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) January 31, 2018
Our entire organization is deeply saddened after learning of the death of former Pacers player Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle. pic.twitter.com/ezdVkM12PG
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) January 31, 2018
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle. Our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the family and many friends of Rasual and Leah. They will be missed. pic.twitter.com/djezmpHd5h
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 31, 2018
You gotta be kidding me right now….
This is a sad day man!!! R.i.p sual bop!!
True legend in my eyes !!! Damn I’m really hurt right now… damn man!!
— Kyle Lowry (@Klow7) January 31, 2018
PHOTO: PR Photos
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