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Twenty-one reality stars committed suicide in a decade

They were desperate for their 15 minutes of fame – but just years later, these reality TV stars were dead.

At least 21 US reality TV stars have committed suicide since 2004, The New York Post has reported.

The Bachelor season 14 contestant Alexa “Lex” McAllister became the latest victim earlier this month. She reportedly overdosed on prescription pills aged just 31. In 2013, Gia Allemand from the same season also died. Three years before that, Julien Hug, from the 2009 season of The Bachelorette, took his own life.

Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant reality shows have also been struck by the curse, with Hell’s Kitchen’s Rachel Brown killing herself in 2007, and Kitchen Nightmares 2007 contestant Jose Cerniglia dying in 2010.

American Idol lost Paula Goodspeed, The Voice’s Anthony Riley hanged himself, as did The X Factor’s Simone Battle, while MasterChef’s Joshua Marks shot himself.

Supernanny and Extreme Makeover also had former contestants commit suicide, as did other lesser-known shows – including Storage Wars, Ghost Adventures, Next Great Baker, Megan Wants a Millionaire, The Contender, Pirate Master and Paradise Hotel 2.

But are reality shows failing to properly support contestants? Reality TV personality expert Dr Richard Levak says not necessarily.

“Does [appearing on reality television] attract people with a higher rate of instability?” he told The Post. “Are people who are unstable more interested? Or do the vagaries of reality TV precipitate people killing themselves?”

Where to get help:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)

Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)

Youthline: 0800 376 633

Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)

Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)

Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)

Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (available 24/7)

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

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