The mother of Sonny Bono has denounced as a "big lie" claims by his widow that the former congressman's death last winter in a skiing accident was caused by his use of prescription drugs.
Rep. Mary Bono, R-Calif., who has since been elected to her late husband's seat in Congress, said he was taking 15 to 20 pills a day, all prescribed by doctors, that impaired his judgment on the day that he crashed into a tree while skiing.
But Jean Bono, Bono's 84-year-old mother, disagreed and lashed out at her daughter-in-law.
"The whole thing is a big lie," she said. "He was not what she's painting him out to be. He was a good man. He brought her up to where she is, and she's trashing him in return."
Bono died in January at age 62 when he hit a tree while skiing in the Sierra Nevadas. He had been taking prescription drugs for chronic back pain and neck problems, his widow said.