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Porn Star Arrested in Deadly Toad Venom Case

Nacho Vidal is manslaughter suspect after photographer dies after reported shamanic ritual
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2020 11:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – Last July, fashion photographer Jose Luis Abad died in Spain after authorities say he inhaled vapors from toad venom during a shamanic ritual. Now, the Guardian and BBC report three people have been arrested, including a porn star who hawks penis-shaped candles on Twitter. Nacho Vidal (real name: Ignacio Jorda Gonzalez) and two others were briefly detained on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter and violating public health laws, then released provisionally. Per the Metro, the other two who were arrested were one of Vidal's relatives and an employee. Spanish police say they began investigating the alleged ceremony nearly a year ago, which is said to have taken place at the Enguera home of Vidal, 46. A police statement notes the ritual involved "highly suggestible people who were especially vulnerable."

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The Complex notes that the venom in question—which has been compared to ayahuasca, an Amazonian hallucinogenic used in shamanic rituals—originates from the Bufo alvarius toad, also known as the Colorado River toad or Sonoran Desert toad, which hails from the southwest US and northern Mexico. Per the Telegraph, Vidal has expounded on the virtues of the venom before, claiming it helped him fight addiction and depression, and "reconnect with his soul" and "with the Earth and Mother Nature." Vidal's attorney, Daniel Salvador, tells La Vanguardia newspaper Abad was "a friend of Nacho Vidal's friends," had tried the venom before, and wanted to again, in a "comfortable" environment. "Nacho is very affected by the death of this person, but considers himself innocent," Salvador says. "Nacho maintains that the consumption was completely voluntary." (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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