George Michael, the British pop icon who died Christmas Day at age 53, had been battling a secret heroin addiction in the months leading up to his death, according to multiple media outlets. Reports in British newspapers Tuesday morning allege that the “Last Christmas” singer, who was arrested while smoking crack cocaine in a public restroom in 2008, had been struggling with addiction in his final days. The Daily Telegraph today quotes a source as saying: “He’s been rushed to A&E on several occasions. He used heroin. I think it’s amazing he’s lasted as long as he has.” The Sun, meanwhile, quoted Michael’s friend, publicist Gary Farrow, saying: “I believe easy access to drugs was the cause of his problems. I thought George was too bright to get involved with illegal substances. But once this disease gets hold of you, it’s hard to fight it.” The death was described as “unexplained but not suspicious” by police at Michael’s $1.8 million home in an Oxfordshire village. Cardiac arrest was given as the cause of death by Michael’s manager, Michael Lipman.