Breakdowns, Suicides: The Dark Side of Reality TV

Cowell defended himself and the show's producers in an interview in US magazine last December. "What happened was awful," he said. "My regret in all of this was that we didn't know how troubled this person was. If I could've gone back in time and known what she was going through, I wish that we could've spent time trying to help her, but we genuinely didn't know."

Cheryl Kosewicz

Cheryl Kosewicz

The former deputy district attorney from Reno killed herself after she was bounced from "Pirate Master," the CBS reality show that followed 16 would-be modern-day pirates on their quest for $1 million.

The fourth person to leave the show, Kosewicz, 35, was found dead in her home on Jan. 27, 2007, from an apparent suicide. Before committing suicide, she reportedly wrote on the MySpace page of a fellow contestant that she had "lost the strong Cheryl and I'm just floating around lost."

She also blamed the show for coming between her and her boyfriend Ryan O'Neil, who committed suicide himself two months earlier. "This frik'n show…was such a contention between Ryan and I," she reportedly wrote at the time. "The shame seemed to get to her," Kaslow said. "The note was so public and was, in part, blaming the TV show."

Kaslow added that there are often several factors that lead to a suicide and, in Kosewicz's case, losing her boyfriend could have been an additional stressor, while being eliminated from the show may have been the final straw. In the show's final episode, there was a dedication message to Kosewicz.

CBS did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Danny Bonaduce

Danny Bonaduce

The "Partridge Family" star allowed VH-1 cameras to follow every detail of=2 0his life for "Breaking Bonaduce," including even an apparent suicide attempt.

According to entertainment web site TheWrap.com, the former child actor tried to kill himself by swilling Vodka and Vicodin after his wife Gretchen asked for a divorce during the filming of the reality show – and just prior to the Sept. 12, 2005 premiere. In another episode, he slashed his wrists before checking into rehab.

His behavior only made the show more popular. It was brought back for another season and picked up for international distribution. In the end, his marriage to Gretchen fell apart. But Bonaduce has continued to seek the limelight as a radio personality.

VH-1 did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Najai Turpin

The 23-year-old boxer from Philadelphia was reportedly the first reality television show participant to take his own life.

A contestant on the first season of NBC's "The Contender," Turpin shot himself in a parked car just weeks before the series premiere.

According to the police report, Turpin had been sitting with his girlfriend, with whom he had been having a custody dispute over their 2-year-old daughter. According to media reports he was also said to have grown frustrated, after being knocked out of the show early, that he was not allowed to compete in any professional boxing matches until the series' finale aired, which would have made it hard for him to support his family.

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