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‘The Bachelorette’ star Josh Seiter alive, calls Instagram hack announcing his death a ‘cruel joke’

The New York Daily News - 8/29/2023

Josh Seiter, of “The Bachelorette” fame, took to Instagram Tuesday to let the world know he’s very much “alive and well,” contrary to a since-deleted statement on his page reporting his death. Seiter’s claims he was hacked seem eerily reminiscent of Lil Tay’s recent death hoax.

The reality personality, 36, who has been candid about his battles with mental health, shared a video after deleting the false statement, which suggested he’d taken his own life.

“As you can see, I am alive and well,” said Seiter. ”Somebody was playing a cruel joke and mocking my mental illness and the struggles I’ve gone through with depression and suicide attempts. I’m sorry for all the pain they caused. I am going to do all I can with my team to identify who was behind this. But again, I apologize for the confusion. And I will update you guys as more facts come in.”

Though Seiter said he’d spent the past day trying to regain control of his account, he did not detail why it took so long to correct the false reports.

The since-deleted statement, which seemed to be from Seiter’s loved ones, was posted to his account Monday and announced his “unexpected passing.”

“As all who knew him can attest, Joshua was an incredibly bright light in an increasingly dim world,” read the statement. “His fearless voice and indomitable spirit helped thousands of people in their darkest moments feel just a little less alone. Although our heartache at Joshua’s passing pains us beyond measure, we find comfort in knowing that he is finally at peace.”

The statement went on to note that Seiter’s account would remain live “for the time being” so “his spirit can continue to live on in the pictures and words” he’d previously shared.

Known for competing on Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season of “The Bachelorette” in 2015, Seiter has regularly shared posts pertaining to mental health.

“Surviving depression and anxiety one day at a time with a smile,” he captioned a selfie last week. The post was his last, prior to the statement falsely announcing his death.

Seiter, who recently celebrated over three-and-a-half years of sobriety, also came out this year as bisexual.

In July 2021, he told followers that he suffers from OCD, bipolar depression and generalized anxiety disorder.

“But I refuse to give up,” he wrote at the time. “What did you survive?”

Earlier this month, controversial rapper Lil Tay, 14, and her older brother were reported to have died suddenly. In the day it took Lil Tay to emerge alive, the influencer’s father was unable to confirm her death and her former manager urged caution about the reports. The teen subsequently said she had been hacked, noting her Instagram account had been “used to spread jarring misinformation and rumors.”

Meta, the parent company of the social media app, confirmed she had been hacked and noted it had helped Tay regain control of her page.

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