French 'Survivor' doctor commits suicide

April 2, 2013 at 8:12 PM

CAMBODIA, Vietnam, April 2 (UPI) -- A staff doctor for the French version of "Survivor," "Koh-Lanta," has committed suicide after a contestant died of a heart attack, the show's producers said.

He was 38.

"We have learned with dismay that Dr. Thierry Costa passed away in Cambodia today," Adventure Line Productions said in a statement Monday. "His high level of professionalism and humanity towards participants and production teams has always been unanimously recognized."

The Hollywood Reporter said Costa worked for the show for four seasons before he took his own life Monday in Cambodia where the show recently filmed.

Costa's death came 10 days after 25-year-old contestant Gerald Babin suffered a fatal heart attack on the first day of filming Season 12.

The Hollywood Reporter said Costa left a suicide note saying his reputation had been damaged by accusations claiming Babin wasn't transported to a hospital in a timely manner because the show's producers didn't want to stop shooting.

"In recent days my name has been sullied in the media," Costa wrote in his letter.

"Unjust accusations and assumptions have been made against me," he said. "I am sure I treated Gerald with respect as a patient and not as a contestant."

The manner in which Costa died was not reported.

Production on this season of the show has been canceled.

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