Catfish subject Mike Fortunato died Saturday

Michael Fortunato, who appeared on MTV’s Catfish, died Saturday of a pulmonary embolism related to deep vein thrombosis. He was 26.

Mike appeared on the Sept. 3 episode, “Ashley and Mike,” which followed Ashley revealing to Mike that she’d been lying about her appearance, and it turned out that he’d been doing the same to her.

MTV News reported that “Mike texted [Ashley] early Saturday morning saying he was considering going to the hospital, but later wrote that he changed his mind. His sister Gena, 21, tells MTV News that Fortunato left his Connecticut workplace early to drive himself to the hospital, but swerved and hit a fence en route. When the paramedics arrived at the scene they transported him to the hospital for treatment,” where he later died.

The couple was still together: “Me and him were very much in love… We were definitely moving forward. If more people were like Mike, everybody would be a little happier in the world,” Ashley told MTV News.

Last night, Nev tweeted, “I didnt know him well, but feel lucky to have known him at all. A great guy & event better friend. He will be missed.”

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.