Former Bachelor star Sean Lowe posted an emotional blog post on Monday, addressing the apparent suicide of former contestant Lex McAllister, a competitor on Jake Pavelka’s season, who reportedly overdosed on pills on Feb. 16.
The death comes a few years after another contestant from the same season, Gia Allemand, hanged herself in August 2013. Bachelorette contestant Julien Hug also committed suicide in 2010.
“There are moments when the glittery, perfumed, hairsprayed, romantic facade of The Bachelor is penetrated by hard truths,” Lowe wrote. “Three people from the Bachelor family committing suicide should cause us all to pause. But it’s not just the Bachelor franchise. An article in the New York Post points out that ‘[there have been] at least 21 reality-contestant suicides since 2004.’”
“I don’t know whether reality tv contestants have a higher rate of suicide than the rest of America,” he added. “But I do know that ‘there has been a 31% increase in the number of suicides in the U.S.’ Whether the suicide is a depressed mom, a middle aged dad, a veteran, or a reality tv star, we have an epidemic … and we shouldn’t look away from it any longer.”
Lowe reflected on suicide from his own, faith-based perspective, writing that while suicide is “not the answer,” it is also, “not unforgivable.” In his blog, he cited Christian publications and articles written in the wake of actor Robin Williams’ August 2014 suicide.
“I don’t know how to address this issue without getting all Christian on you,” wrote the former reality star, who is expecting his first child with wife Catherine. “Know why? Because the world doesn’t really offer much hope. That’s why you see beautiful, wealthy people commit suicide as well as people who might be considered outcasts.”
After a commenter later pointed out that mental illness is to blame for many suicides -- something Lowe didn’t mention in his initial post -- the reality star added an update.
“I didn’t mean to neglect or ignore mental illness in my post,” he wrote. “Mental illness is a disease which ensnares tens of thousands of people each year and takes them to places which they would have never taken themselves. My sincerest apologies for not making my points more clear.”