Following the apparent suicide of Bachelor alum Lex McAllister last week, Donna Micheletti, the mother of Gia Allemand — a fellow contestant on Season 14 of the reality show — spoke to Life & Style about her own daughter's suicide more than two years ago and how she's hoping to help the family heal.
What was your reaction when you heard about Lex's death?
When I heard about it and saw that they had her diagnosed as depression and bipolar, my first thought was… she had what Gia had. Well my first thought really was, 'Oh my God, that poor mom.' She's feeling how I was. Then it brought up a lot of pain for me.
Gia (far right) on the first season of ABC’s Bachelor Pad. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Lex's friends described her as a vibrant person, but then she would have these low moments too…
Yes, the ups and downs, up and down. It's very hard to have relationships and if you add on insecurities on top of that it makes it even worse. Gia had very bad insecurities with men, she didn't trust them. Lex I can't speak for, but I know Gia had a lot of insecurities.
What type of responsibility does a show like The Bachelor have to these girls?
Absolutely none. Gia went on that show and I picked her up that day when she finished filming and she was glowing and she was on a cloud. She was never so confident and self-assured and being with herself than she did after being on the show. I'm sorry, but I don't think the show has anything to do with it.
Did you happen to reach out to Lex's family?
I actually did. I found a way to reach out. I couldn't bring myself to go there, but there are no words you can say to a person when they lose a child. There is absolutely nothing. People just want someone who will listen to them talk about their child. That's the only thing. I made people very uncomfortable for months because all I did was sit and talk, I was a walking zombie.
What did Lex's mom say when you reached out?
Well I reached out to her on e-mail and gave her my phone number and she gave me hers and I won't disturb her now, but I'll wait until afterwards. Nobody knows what you're going through — but I do. I went through it.
For more on this, pick up the new issue of Life & Style, on newsstands Wednesday.