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‘Bachelor’ Star’s Death Called Suicide

Orlando, Fla. — Bachelor star Gia Allemand has died at age 29 of an apparent suicide, her family said in a statement Wednesday.

“Due to a critical loss of brain and organ function, life support was withdrawn today,” the statement said. “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.”

Her boyfriend, former Orlando Magic player Ryan Anderson, found her Monday night in her New Orleans home and called 911, the statement said. Anderson now plays for the Pelicans, the NBA team in New Orleans.

Emergency medical workers took her to University Hospital in New Orleans on Monday night for what her publicist described as a “serious emergency medical event.”

Allemand, who lived in Orlando when Anderson played for the Magic, had competed on the ABC dating contest when Jake Pavelka starred in 2010. She later appeared on two seasons of ABC’s Bachelor Pad. She also modeled for Maxim magazine.

Two years ago, Allemand talked about dating Anderson and living in Orlando. “Not only was it love at first sight but it seemed like a touch of destiny,” she told Us Weekly. “We now both live in Orlando and couldn’t be happier. I think I finally found the one!”

They had met on a photo shoot in the Bahamas in February 2011.

On The Bachelor, Pavelka chose Vienna Girardi of Florida and proposed to her, but their relationship fell apart and yielded a nasty breakup.

on national television.

Girardi said Wednesday afternoon: “I’m so sad to hear of the loss of my friend Gia. She was always so full of life and happy. To hear of her loss seems unreal. I’m shocked, to say the least. She was such an amazing woman and great friend. She has been such a big part of my life, and she will truly be missed forever.”

Pavelka tweeted: “I had to pull over, I can’t stop crying. We have lost an angel.”

Mike Fleiss, creator and executive producer of the “Bachelor” franchise, said in a statement: “The entire ‘Bachelor’ family is tremendously saddened by the tragic passing of our friend Gia. She was truly a sweet and generous soul. This is a devastating loss for anyone who ever knew her.”

E! News said it had the final interview with Allemand, and it was conducted at a “Bachelorette” finale party last week.

“I love these guys,” Allemand said. “Any time we’re together it’s always just so fun. It’s the best time. We just all have this really strong connection.”

Of “Bachelorette” star Desiree Hartsock, Allemand said before the finale: “I think I need advice from her! I really do! She’s just a strong girl, and she knows what she wants. She’s not confused about it. She’s not scared to show her feelings, so I need advice from her.”

The family said in its statement: “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.”

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©2013 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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