Ex-Girlfriend of Eagles of Death Metal Merch Manager Recounts Heartbreaking Struggle in Bataclan Attack

Josh Homme and Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal
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Josh Homme and Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal perform at the Teragram Ballroom on Oct. 19, 2015 in Los Angeles.

The Nov. 2015 Paris attacks took the lives of 130 people, including 89 at an Eagles of Death Metal concert at Paris’ Bataclan. The band members themselves escaped relatively unscathed, but their roadie/merchandise manager Nick Alexander was among their closest friends to be lost. Six months later, we’ve learned the harrowing story how Alexander died in the arms of a loved one. 

The Guardian points out that Alexander’s former partner Helen Wilson has spoken about their final moments together for a coroner's inquest. In a written statement, Wilson described protecting a mortally wounded Alexander on the Bataclan floor as the terrorists moved in.

Nick Alexander, Eagles of Death Metal Merch Manager, Killed at Le Bataclan Attack in Paris

“We were holding hands the whole time," she remembered to The Guardian. "He told me that it was hard to breathe so I told him to squeeze my hand and was telling him to stay with me." They decided to play dead as a terrorist approached. 

“The man was tall and had dark hair, he came in our direction and started shooting. I tried to protect Nick by covering his body with my legs and wrapping my arms.”

Wilson gave Alexander mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and tried to keep his spirits up. “I was telling him not to leave me, and that I love him.” But his injuries proved too severe. “[I asked] Nick if he was OK, he said: ‘I’m going to die.’ I told him that he wasn’t, he said he couldn’t breathe… At the time I was holding Nick he felt cold and his eyes had changed, his body was lifeless.”

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The inquest was overseen by Caroline Beasley-Murray, senior coroner for the English county of Essex, Alexander’s home. 

According to The Guardian, Wilson (a U.S. citizen) met Alexander in Liverpool in 2006, and dated him for two years. They remained close after their relationship while Wilson (who runs a music biz-focused catering business) lived in France. They spent the night prior to the Bataclan show together; Wilson visited the venue to spend time with Alexander while he tended the merch table. 

For more, read Billboard’s Nick Alexander obituary, featuring input from friends like the Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney of the Black Keys