Fans of TLC's Next Great Baker learned in December, that contestant and Sgt. Wesley Durden, 28, died in 2011. Later, the network confirmed previous local reports that the Iraq war veteran died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
TLC extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Sgt. Wesley Durden, who died Oct. 24. He will be warmly remembered by the cast and crew of 'Next Great Baker,' the network released in a statement.
However, Durden isn't the first reality star who died by suicide. Many others have fallen under the bright light of reality television only to commit suicide after the television cameras leave.
The suicides may appear to be linked to the reality TV shows, but Robert Yufit, former president of the American Academy of Suicidology, said that may not be the case.
My guess is that both of these people had major problems before appearing on the show, Yufit told CBS News in 2010. I would almost bet that the show itself should not be held responsible. I would say say that the show might have tripped off something else that was going on in their lives.
Other recent reality stars who died by suicide include:
Russell Armstrong (2011)
Russell Armstrong, estranged husband to Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reality star Taylor Armstrong, was found hanged in his L.A. home in August 2011.
The marital problems became one of the popular story lines on the Bravo show. Weeks before his death, Russell sounded an alarm during an interview with People magazine.
It got really overwhelming, Russell was quoted as telling the magazine. When you get a TV show involved and all the pressure, it just takes it to a whole new level. ... We were pushed to extremes.
Taylor had filed for divorce from the 47 year old, claiming physical abuse.
Joseph Cerniglia (2010)
Three years after competing in the Fox reality show Kitchen Nightmares hosted by the tough-talking chef Gordon Ramsay, Joseph Cerniglia, 39, jumped to his death. Witnesses reported seeing a man jump from the George Washington Bridge in New York City, what official ruled as a suicide.
Cerniglia appeared in 2007 on the show that aims to rejuvenate failing restaurants.
I'm financially in trouble -- the debt of the restaurant alone is overwhelming. My personal debt -- wife, kids mortgage -- that's a lot of debt, Cerniglia said during the show taping. I owe my purveyors about $80,000 right now in cold, hard cash... I can't see us going on another year.
Neha Sawant (2010)
Neha Sawant, the 11-year-old musical and dancing talent appeared on several Indian reality shows including Boogie Woogie, was found hanged in her home in January 2010.
She had been a student of a local dance academy, but her parents pulled her from it so she could focus on her studies.
She was very popular in the neighbourhood for her performances, her father Narendra Sawant told The Times of India. People loved her moves. However, a year ago we realised that her studies were getting affected due to the contests and performances. So we pulled her out of the academy and stopped her from taking part in competitions.
He added in the previous days, she had shown no signs of depression.
I had left for work as usual on Saturday and she even had breakfast with me. She did not say anything or do anything to suggest she would kill herself, he said.
Ryan Jenkins (2009)
Reality star Ryan Jenkins of the VH1 reality show Megan Wants a Millionaire allegedly killed his ex-wife before hanging himself with a belt in a run-down hotel in 2009. The 32-year-old was a participant in a forthcoming I Love Money 3 VH1 reality show that the network cancelled.
On the millionaire show, Jenkins earned the nickname Smooth Operator for his suave way with women.
Rachel Brown (2007)
Budding chef Rachel Brown shot herself in Dallas in 2007 after appearing on the Fox reality show Hell's Kitchen a year after landing the fifth spot of that season.
Brown, 41, was found dead in her family home in May 2007 leaving behind a girlfriend and two cats, according to local reports.
During the show, Brown shared a romance with another female contestant and after the show aired, she told the Dallas Voice that she had no regrets about the show that puts chefs to the test.