Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein put on a huge smile when he threw out the first pitch at the New York Mets baseball game at Citi Field on August 23. According to an eyewitness, the professional DJ seemed to not have a care in the world. "Adam looked so happy and healthy," Diana Hayden tells In Touch exclusively.
Yet just five days later on August 28, Adam was found dead in his NYC apartment surrounded by drug paraphernalia. Friend and colleague DJ Scotty Boy, 36, tells In Touch, "He was so friendly and kind. I just came to his house to hear the news. I wanted to know if it is true."
Other longtime friends paint a picture of Adam as a 36-year-old man who was "a tortured soul," and while he seemed happy on the outside, he was secretly "saddled with grief." But DJ Scotty, who saw him just days before, says, "Ever since I knew him he was sober. He had been sober for a long time."
Adam made headlines when he survived a plane crash, which killed four other passengers, in September 2008. And although his physical wounds were mostly healed, his emotional ones seemed to be getting worse. "Adam had terrible survivor's guilt," a friend explains. Professional Las Vegas model Michael Evers recalls seeing Adam deejay in Vegas clubs both before and then again months after the crash. "He just wasn't the same person after the crash, and it was evident," Michael explains. "Prior to the crash, he had an amazing energy. But when I went to hear him spin months afterward, he seemed more reserved and didn't interact with the crowd."
Model and actress Erin Naas, who briefly dated Adam after meeting in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in 2006, remembers the DJ as "a gentle soul who wouldn't hurt a fly. He helped so many people get sober, that his death is just shocking."
A rep for Adam tells In Touch, "The circumstances surrounding his death are unclear. Out of respect for his family and loved ones, please respect their privacy at this time."
Adam gained success for his musical talent and was well-known for being engaged to Nicole Richie in 2005. An autopsy was performed, but the cause of death is still inconclusive, pending toxicology tests that could take weeks.