**Possible trigger warning.**
Sad news today, Bettys: Gia Allemand, who competed on season 14 of The Bachelor for Jake Pavelka’s rose as well as on Bachelor Pad’s first season, passed away yesterday. Even sadder is that the cause of death was suicide. She was 29 years old.
Gia, who was a swimsuit model and actress in addition to her stints on reality TV, was hospitalized on Monday night in New Orleans following what was called “a serious emergency medical event.” A few details later emerged: Her boyfriend, NBA forward Ryan Anderson, found her unconscious in her home and called 911; an emergency medical crew rushed her to New Orleans’ University Hospital; she remained in critical condition until yesterday, when life support was withdrawn due to a critical loss of brain and organ function. According to a statement released by the family, Gia “passed away peacefully with her mother, boyfriend, and other lifelong friends by her side. As a practicing Christian, Gia did receive the sacrament of last rites.”
The statement continued, “Loved ones and fans will remember Gia Allemand as a caring woman who loved her family and was well-known for her compassion towards animals and mission to rescue homeless pets. Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming in another official statement once available. On behalf of the family, we sincerely ask for privacy at this time.”
There’s been speculation that Gia had been a victim of bullying, as well as that her relationship with Ryan had hit a rough patch; the bottom line is, though, that we probably won’t ever know what was going on in Gia’s life that prompted her to take her own life. What we CAN learn, however, is that although the cause might not be apparent, the underlying pain is no less real.
I have no great love of reality TV, nor of most reality TV “stars.” But the loss of a life—especially by suicide—is a tragedy no matter how you look at it. If you’re suffering from depression or having suicidal thoughts, from all of us here at Team Betty: Please reach out to someone. A trusted friend, a close family member, a mentor, a co-worker… or even someone you don’t necessarily know. If for some reason you don’t feel able to talk to your friends, family, or other loved ones about what’s going on in your life, speaking anonymously with a total stranger whose only goal is to be there for you can help immeasurably. The International Suicide Prevention Wiki is a worldwide directory of suicide prevention hotlines, online chat, text-lines, and resources created by PostSecret founder Frank Warren; no matter where you are in the world, someone is there to help.
Be kind to each other, Bettys. Sometimes, kindness is all we’ve got.
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s senior editor.