Cher was devastated when her uncle Edward Smith, known locally as ‘Boo Boo’, died suddenly aged just 34 in September.
Shockingly, an inquest revealed Mr Smith – who was not a drug user – died from a methadone overdose after he was ”deceived” into taking the deadly drug.
Methadone is a powerful heroin substitute normally given to recovering drug addicts.
Recording an open verdict, Worcestershire Coroner Geraint Williams said: ”The evidence indicates that somebody gave Boo Boo methadone.
”I’m satisfied he was deceived into that, but I don’t know who gave it to him.”
Mr Smith’s body was found by his 11-year-old son at the family’s home in Malvern, Worcs., on the morning of September 24.
The before night he died Mr Smith – who lives just a few hundred yards from Cher’s family home – visited his neighbour Jason Woodman, who had been a methadone user for 15 years.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Mr Smith’s family blamed Woodman for giving him the drug.
Mr Smith’s partner Cirsty Banford, 30, had returned from a night bingo with Cher’s mum Dinah on September 23 and saw him on the sofa.
She told the inquest at Stourport-on-Severn: ”I came home about 10pm and Boo Boo was on the sofa, he looked asleep.
”I assumed he had been drinking and taken anti-depressant medication so left him asleep and went to bed.
”The next morning my son walked into the front room and said ‘Daddy doesn’t look very well.’
”There is no way in this life he [Mr Smith] would have taken that [methadone] if he knew what it was.”
Mr Smith’s sister Rose, blamed Woodman for tricking her brother into taking the drug.
Turning to face Woodman, who was at the inquest to give evidence, she said: “If you and Boo Boo are that close: you’re the only one who uses methadone up there and then this happens to Boo Boo.
”Who else are we going to think it is?”
Woodman denied giving father-of-six Mr Smith the drug and claimed Cher’s family were trying to ”stitch me up”.
Family friend Jethro Smith told the inquest he saw Woodman with his head in his hands the morning Mr Smith’s body was found.
He said: ”I saw Mr Woodman and he kept saying ‘What have I done, what have I done?”
Today Woodman’s house was boarded-up and neighbours said he had moved away from the area.
One said: ”After Boo Boo died he upped and left. No one has seen him for weeks. He’s a loser whose got in over his head with this.”
Hundred’s of Cher’s family, who are proud Romany gypsies, turned out for Mr Edward’s funeral in October.