Bachelor star Gia Allemand died at the age of 29 after committing suicide by hanging herself, TMZ reports.
Gia Allemand’s boyfriend Ryan Anderson – who has released a statement on the tragic news – is said to have discovered her body hanging and unconcscious in her home and immediately called 911.
In a statement today, NBA player Ryan Anderson has payed tribute to his girlfriend saying: “Gia was the most beautiful person I knew inside and out and she always smiled and made everyone else around her smile. She had such an amazing impact on my life and anyone that knew her was blessed.”
Following the 911 emergency call, Gia Allemand was taken to University Hospital in New Orleans on Monday where she was put on life support.
On Tuesday she remained in hospital unconscious in critical condition and on continued life support.
It was on Wednesday that life support was withdrawn after her condition failed to improve, and her family released a statement confirming that she had died.
TMZ have also claimed that Gia Allemand has been “upset about a rocky relationship with her boyfriend Ryan Anderson”.
However, she was frequently posting happy photos of herself with Ryan Anderson, most recently a shot of the pair in Las Vegas at the end of last month.
In his statement, Ryan Anderson said: “I’m deeply grateful for all the love and support we have received from family, friends and fans.”
Adding: “All I have left is to cherish those memories we made together and help perpetuate the many values, faith and love that we shared.”
Gia Allemand’s family confirmed the news of her death in an earlier statement, saying: “Due to a critical loss of brain and organ function, life support was withdrawn today.”
“Ms. Allemand passed away peacefully with her mother, boyfriend, and other life-long friends by her side. As a practicing Christian, Gia did receive the sacrament of last rites.
“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.”
Gia Allemand’s family say a funeral for the reality star will take place in due course, with further details released at a later date.
“Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming in another official statement once available,” the statement continued.
“On behalf of the family, we sincerely ask for privacy at this time.”
Gia Allemand almost made it to the finale on the Jake Pavelka season of the hit ABC show The Bachelor, losing out to Vienna Girardi.
Jake Pavelka has already reacted to the the news of his former co-star’s passing, tweeting: “I had to pull over, I can’t stop crying. We have lost an angel.”
After the Bachelor in 2010, Gia Allemand – a model and actress – later joined the cast of reality series Bachelor Pad in 2010 but only made it to the third episode.
She always maintained that she entered the reality show in the genuine hope to find true love.
“I truly went on the show to find love!” she told Emme magazine.
“A few months before going on The Bachelor my boyfriend broke my heart. I couldn’t date or meet anyone. I was in such a rut so my friends submitted me for The Bachelor.”
Gia Allemand began her career as a model not too long after she was born.
As a baby she starred in commercials for Johnson & Johnson and Gerber Baby.
In her teenage years, Gia Allemand’s modelling career took off when she was asked to enter a swimsuit competition.
That led to several more, and Gia Allemand ended up taking second place in both the Miss Hawaiian Tropic competition and Miss Red Hot Taj Mahal Super Bowl contest in 2005.
But it was when she appeared in men’s magazine Maxim in 2007 she became widely recognised.
Gia Allemand’s appearance in the publication led her to then take the tiara in the Miss Bikini-USA’s Model of the Year in 2008.
But Gia Allemand’s passion was for acting and performing, and in 2010 she was cast in the role of famed Hollywood actress Ava Gardner in a film produced by Brett Ratner about the life of actor Gianni Russo.