A doctor working for France’s version of the television reality show Survivor has committed suicide, leaving a note saying he had been unfairly criticised over the death of a contestant, the programme’s broadcaster said.
Thierry Costa, 38, killed himself in Cambodia, the setting of the show Koh-Lanta, which was halted last week following the heart attack and death of contestant Gerald Babin, said the TF1 television channel.
Costa’s suicide note, published in full on TV1’s website, said the media had made “unfair accusations and assumptions” about his treatment of Babin.
Some media outlets had carried reports criticising the amount of time it took for anyone to treat Babin, 25, after his collapse.
“In the past few days my name has been tarnished in the media … I am certain that I treated Gerald in a respectable manner, as a patient and not as a contestant,” Costa wrote in his note which was also shown on television news reports.
TF1 cited a statement from the show’s producers Adventure Line Productions (ALP), that Costa’s suicide should “encourage those who accuse and comment indiscriminately to exercise responsibility”.
Costa, who specialised in emergency medicine, had spent four seasons on France’s longest-running reality show in which candidates must survive on an uninhabited island and compete in a series of challenges.
Prosecutors in the Paris suburb of Creteil launched a preliminary investigation into Babin’s death last week.