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Isaac Hayes Slams 'Stroke' Rumors

By:
Mar 27, 2006 | 8:55am EST

Soul great Isaac Hayes has slammed reports a stroke was the real reason he quit South Park.

Last week, an Internet report claimed Hayes, 63, had suffered a stroke in January and a mystery person has issued a press release on his behalf, declaring his reasons for leaving the program.

Scientologist Hayes departed his voiceover role as ladykiller Chef in the popular animation series on March 13, claiming he could no longer support the controversial comedy's "inappropriate ridicule of religious communities."

South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have killed off the character of Chef in the opening episode of the new season, which sees the culinary loverman depicted as a pedophile before dying in a series of grisly events.

Hayes insists his health has nothing to do with his decision to leave the show, and says the only time he went into the hospital was to receive treatment for high blood pressure and exhaustion.

His spokeswoman Amy Harnell says, "That's a false report.

"He wasn't in the hospital for very long. He's back on his feet, and doing really well.

"The press release did come from him. He is the one who decided to leave South Park. Basically, he decided to leave it behind him."

Harnell adds Hayes is busy preparing himself for fatherhood again because his fourth wife, Adjowa, is expecting a baby "due any minute."

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