The transgender Big Brother star Rebekah Shelton, who appeared on the show as Rodrigo Lopes, has died.
The 32-year-old was on the reality show in 2009, where – as Rodrigo – she finished fifth.
A tweet from her personal account read: “We’re sorry to inform everyone of the sad news that our wonderful and lovely Rebekah died unexpectedly on Wednesday night.
“We ask that you respect the family’s privacy at this time.”
The reality TV star started living as a woman in 2012, after successfully transitioning.
Rebekah had previously told OK! Magazine that it was the “hardest decision ever” to go through with the surgery, and that her family had struggled dealing with it.
“I’ve had to fight for acceptance. I was not born wanting to be a transsexual, or a boy, or a straight boy, or a girl,” she explained.
We’re sorry to inform everyone of the sad news that our wonderful and lovely Rebekah died unexpectedly on Wednesday night. We ask that you respect the family's privacy at this time.
— Rebekah Shelton (@MissRShelton) January 12, 2018
God, how awful! I'm so sorry. I remember watching her on Big Brother a few years ago and I loved her personality. And she achieved so much through her transition. </3 Sending all my love to her family and friends. This is heartbreaking.
— ✿Harriet✿ (@harriet_opie) January 12, 2018
This is such sad news. So very sorry to hear. My love, thoughts, prayers and hugs are with you all. Xxx
— Ross S Birkenshaw (@rossbirkenshaw) January 12, 2018
“I think my appearance on the show [Big Brother] helped me to get to know myself better.
“It gave me the acceptance I had been looking for my entire life – I started dressing like the girls, and I felt like I was getting to know myself better with every new piece of clothing.”