Gia Allemand passed screenings to appear on Season 14 of The Bachelor, raising no red flags as producers checked into her background to appear on the reality dating show.
The 29-year-old died this week, her parents taking her off life support one day after a suicide attempt. Family members said it was a shocking act, and a former Bachelor contestant said she saw no signs that Allemand was mentally unstable.
“It’s so sad to think looking at her in New York, I thought she was okay,” said Michelle Money, who appeared alongside Allemand on The Bachelor and Bachelor Pad. “But now I look back and think, wow, is there something I could have done or said?”
Before appearing on The Bachelor, Gia Allemand had to go through a vetting process that included checks of her criminal record and interviews with employers. Allemand ended up being chosen for the season, and reached the final three contestants of the year before being sent home by Bachelor Jake Pavelka.
This week producers and others involved in the show spoke about the precautions taken for contestants, which include an on-set therapist.
“We go to great lengths to make sure these people are okay,” Bachelor host Chris Harrison said. “We have a support system. We don’t just say, ‘Hey, thanks for coming on The Bachelor and here’s a T-shirt.’ We’re cognizant this is an emotional thing they are feeling.”
But there were also signs that Gia Allemand had difficulty with the competitive nature of the show at times. She struggled on Bachelor Pad, leaving the show on her own after being betrayed by another contestant.
Despite the struggles, Michelle Money said Gia at least seemed fit to appear on both shows.
“Someone can be holding their head so high, but inside they’re battling these demons,” Money said.
There is still confusion as to what drove Gia Allemand to suicide. There has been speculation that her troubled relationship with NBA player Ryan Anderson led her to end her life, but Gia’s mother has refuted those reports.