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David Bowie Reportedly Battled Liver Cancer Before His Death

"I saw a man fighting. He fought like a lion and kept working like a lion through it all. I had incredible respect for that."

13/01/2016 7:48 AM AEDT | Updated 13/01/2016 7:48 AM AEDT

A close friend of late rock star David Bowie claims the singer was batting liver cancer when he died on Jan. 10.  

Bowie's reps didn't specify the type of cancer the musician had in a Facebook post released early Monday morning, but Belgian theatre director Ivo van Hove, who worked with Bowie on his musical "Lazarus," opened up about the 69-year-old last week in a Dutch radio interview. 

According to Dutch News, van Hove told NPO Radio 4 that Bowie was "still writing on his deathbed." 

"I saw a man fighting. He fought like a lion and kept working like a lion through it all. I had incredible respect for that," he said. 

While Bowie kept his illness a secret, the director told the New York Times on Monday that the singer revealed he was sick in November 2014, when the cancer was still in its early stages. 

"It was immediately clear it was very serious. Confidential is confidential," van Hove told the paper. 

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