Sad news has erupted in the BET family after learning Sam Sarpong, host of the network's All Access show, and a former model, committed suicide by jumping off a bridge.
BET released the news of their reoccurring All Access pre-show host on Oct. 28 citing the TV personality jumped from a bridge to his death. According to the site, Sarpong was "London-born and of Ghanaian descent" who moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. He landed gigs as a Tommy Hillfiger model and the host of the BET pre show for seven years in a row.
According to EUR, Sarpong jumped from the Colorado Street bridge after Pasadena Police attempted to talk him down for seven hours. The TV personality reportedly battled with depression for many years although he spoke highly of his success in the past. As reported by EUR, the former model interviewed with Black Hollywood Live in July of 2013 where he recounted his steps in his career journey. "I went from barely being able to pay my bills to now being an international model," Sarpong stated in the interview. "I made a lot of money early, luckily I had my father to guide me."
Aside from his modeling career and stint with BET, Sarpong also worked on MTV's My So Called Life, Boston Public, Veronica Mars, Everybody Hates Chris, Cold Case, and 24 according to the site. His more notable work was alongside Wilmer Valderrama as co-host for MTV's variety show, Yo Momma. He also starred in the 2003 film Love Don't Cost A Thing, as Kadeem with co-star Nick Cannon.
The news of his death affected many friends and associates. Valderrama released a statement on Sarpong's suicided and battle with depression asking anyone who is dealing with emotional and mental issues to find someone to talk to about it. The Yo Momma co-host posted this message on Instagram:
I am so sad & so confused.. Sam did it all, believed in dreaming bigger than anyone around him.. We made memories together that will last us forever, thank you for sharing your talent with me and the world.. You were a light everywhere you went and I couldn't be more proud of the journey you traveled.. You just left us too early Sam.. We will miss you and pray for you.. Once again thank you for all those years you dedicated to our show, we couldn't have done it without you! Find your peace my brother! And to everyone in a dark place.. PLEASE, please talk to someone.. Anyone.. Trust me that we WILL listen.. You are not alone, there are so many people that feel the same darkness, let's help one another, let us shine hope on all those that need our understanding!! Reach out to someone and make your first step towards living a life you deserve. My prayers and heart are with family and friends that were blessed to know his beautiful soul #RIPSamSarpong
A photo posted by Wilmer Valderrama (@wilmervalderrama) on Oct 28, 2015 at 8:22pm PDT
Sarpong was 40 years old and leaves behind his sister, June Sarpong.