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French Survivor doctor kills himself, blaming media coverage of contestant’s death

The doctor on France’s version of Survivor, Koh-Lanta, has committed suicide, blaming the media for its coverage of a contestant’s death just over a week earlier.

Dr. Thierry Costa wrote in his suicide note that “my name has been sullied in the media” and cited “unfair accusations.” Gerald Babin, 25, had a heart attack and died during the show’s first challenge. Production stopped and the season was cancelled.

Costa wrote that he was “sure of having treated Gerald in a respectable way, as a patient and not as a contestant. … Even though I regret this unhappy end, I acted in conformity with the Hippocratic Oath.” The physician, who worked on four seasons of the series, died in Cambodia, where the show had been in production prior to a contestant’s death.

The AFP reports that “French media outlets have questioned the production company’s treatment of the contestant, citing unnamed sources who claimed producers delayed the doctor’s response time and interviewed Babin on camera despite the fact that he appeared ill.”

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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