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Gia Allemand, girlfriend of Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson and ‘Bachelor’ contestant, dies at 29

Dan Devine
Ball Don't Lie

Gia Allemand — a former model who appeared on the ABC reality television programs "The Bachelor" and "Bachelor Pad," and the girlfriend of New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson — died Wednesday, according to multiple reports. She was 29.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Allemand had been hospitalized in New Orleans on Monday night after "a serious emergency medical event." E! Online reported Wednesday afternoon that Allemand's family had said the hospitalization followed "an apparent suicide attempt."

The family statement shared by E! says that Anderson found Allemand unconscious on the floor of her New Orleans home and called 911; an emergency medical crew brought her to University Hospital in New Orleans, where she was said to be in critical condition on Tuesday. She was placed on life support, but was eventually taken off "after losing critical brain and organ function," according to the family statement. Anderson and Allemand's mother were reportedly among those at her side when she died.

Anderson issued a statement late Wednesday following Allemand's death, according to People:

"I'm deeply grateful for all the love and support we have received from family, friends and fans," says Anderson. "Gia was the most beautiful person I knew inside and out and she always smiled and made everyone else around her smile."

"She had such an amazing impact on my life and anyone that knew her was blessed. All I have left is to cherish those memories we made together and help perpetuate the many values, faith and love that we shared."

Anderson and Allemand had been together for two years, according to InTouch Weekly. Back in 2011, Allemand told Us Weekly about meeting Anderson, who then played for the Orlando Magic, during a photo shoot on which she was working in the Bahamas:

"We ended up hanging out every minute I was able to when I wasn't working," Allemand says.

As luck would have it, Allemand was soon offered a job in The Bahamas that required her to relocate to the Sunshine State in order to "be flown to the Bahamas every weekend." [...]

"Not only was it love at first sight but it seemed like a touch of destiny. We now both live in Orlando and couldn't be happier," Allemand tells Us. "I think I finally found the one!"

Their meeting came after Allemand competed on Season 14 of "The Bachelor," finishing as the second runner-up. Later, she'd join the cast of the spin-off "Bachelor Pad," appearing on seven episodes over two seasons. She had been working as a fitness instructor in New Orleans, where Anderson played last season after being traded from the Magic after the 2011-12 campaign.

This, very clearly, is awful. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Allemand's family and friends, to Anderson, and to those close to them.

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