Transgender Big Brother Star Rebekah Shelton Aka Rodrigo ‘Unexpectedly Dies’ At 32

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Transgender Big Brother star Rebekah Shelton, who shot to fame after appearing on the 2009 series of the show, has passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday night (10 January).

She starred on the Big Brother show before her gender surgery with the name Rodrigo Lopes. An official statement posted on her Twitter account has confirmed her passing and tweeted, “We’re sorry to inform everyone of the sad news that our wonderful and lovely Rebekah died unexpectedly on Wednesday night.”

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.

“We ask that you respect the family’s privacy at this time,” the tweet concluded. Many fans are calling Shelton’s passing a heart-breaking news. One user tweeted saying, “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.”

A tweet user paid her tributes saying, “This is so sad. One of the most loveable BB housemates. RIP,” while another wrote, “Sorry to hear this have followed Rebekah since big brother.”

“Oh no. so so sorry to hear this, she was lovely to me on here. Sorry for your loss. Xx,” a tweet reads. Rebekah’s final tweet was shared on 19 November, wherein she shared a black and white profile picture of herself.

Rebekah Shelton
Rebekah Shelton in an episode of ITV series Judge Rinder ITV/ screenshot

The former Big Brother star spoke to Daily Star Online back in May, 2017 about the turning point when she knew her gender reassignment surgery was the right decision. She recalled, “There was a turning point – when I met someone in Brazil four years ago.”

“When I met him, I was not 100% sure [about transitioning]. Of course I wanted to, but I had to think, do I really want to go through all of this discrimination?” the reality star, who made an appearance on ITV show, Judge Rinder, continued.

“But when I met him, I was deeply in love with him – he was the love of my life. We haven’t spoken for six months because I’ve decided to leave, but that was the turning point.”

Shelton also admitted that the romance marked the first time someone else saw her as she saw herself. “He saw me as a woman, the person I am. When he took me out and introduced me to his friends, for the first time in my life, I felt like the person I was meant to be from when I was born,” she added.

The transgender star also admitted that transition was emotionally exhausting and shared her advice. “My advice to anyone considering transition would be think very carefully about your decision. I am the happiest I’ve ever been in myself, but I lost so much along the way,” she said.

“I lost friends, it divided my family and I had to undergo 16 surgeries. I’m not sure what I would do if I could go back in time.”

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