The on-location death of Gerald Babin during the recent season of “Koh-Lanta,” the French version of “Survivor,” is now being investigated as manslaughter. French prosecutors have begun a criminal investigation in the death of Babin, and the show’s producers could face manslaughter charges following a judge’s ruling on the matter.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, French prosecutors have completed their initial investigation into the death of “Koh-Lanta” contestant Babin and have decided to continue with a criminal investigation for manslaughter. The 2013 season of “Koh-Lanta,” set in Cambodia, was cancelled following the death of Babin on March 22, 2013, on the first day of production.
Prosecutors conducted interviews with witnesses, which included members of the crew and “Koh-Lanta” host Denis Brogniart, and footage from the production was also collected as evidence, notes THR. While Babin was treated for cramps on location, the magazine Closer reported his treatment was delayed for several minutes to not interrupt filming, and the airlift to the hospital was also delayed because of its cost. According to Closer, Babin was finally treated at a hospital two hours after initially being treated for cramps.
In the wake of Babin’s death, the show’s staff doctor, Thierry Costa, committed suicide, citing the attention from the press and the “smearing” of his name in the media. Several lawsuits were also filed. Babin’s family filed a lawsuit against the show’s producers, Adventure Line Production, and Closer is facing a defamation lawsuit from ALP following their reports, notes THR.
Babin was competing in a tug-of-war challenge and collapsed, reports Sky News. Babin was treated by a medical team during the challenge for cramps and later airlifted to a nearby hospital but died of cardiac arrest during the flight. According to a previous report by THR, Babin suffered several cardiac arrests while en route to the hospital.
During the film, Babin complained of cramps in his arms and was medically cleared prior to appearing on “Koh-Lanta.” At the time of Babin’s death, the show’s producer stated every contestant appearing on the show had to pass multiple medical tests during the screening process.