Gia Allemand's boyfriend Ryan Anderson shares chilling details and emotional journey of losing the reality TV star to suicide
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/14/2014
Ryan Anderson, the boyfriend of the late Gia Allemand, only made a few brief statements following her tragic suicide in August 2013, but now he's sharing the intimate details of what happened that night and how he handled her passing going forward.
The 26-year-old NBA player toldSports Illustrated magazine he and Allemand had gotten into a small, insignificant fight at a restaurant on August 12, one of which he can't even remember how it started. The argument then escalated when Allemand accused him of cheating and he dropped her off at her apartment in the Warehouse District of New Orleans at around 6PM, telling her that he no longer loved her.
Before exiting the car, both parties reportedly said terrible things to one another and Anderson came to regret his side of it. After clearly hurting her feelings, Anderson said his girlfriend's anger morphed into a strange sense of calmness. The athlete then returned to his apartment two blocks away.
Three weeks before this blowout fight, Anderson was convinced Allemand -- whom he dated for over two years and was proned to steep emotional swings -- was the girl he was going to marry. They looked at houses together and talked about rings.
"The best way I can describe it," Anderson told Sports Illustrated, "is that when I was with her, I felt at home."
Anderson was about to crash at the home of a childhood friend's that night in Dallas, ignoring multiple calls from Allemand's mother Donna Micheletti. At 7:28PM, Micheletti's husband Tony reportedly texted Anderson, "There's something wrong with Gia. You need to go check on her."
Anderson then said he grew frightened, because months earlier, he had found Allemand passed out with a bottle of Nyquil and an empty wineglass next to her bed. She also had him stop at Walgreen's the night of the incident so she could get more Nyquil. Anderson just reportedly assumed she wanted to sleep off her frustrations.
Anderson then threw on his flip-flops and baseball hat, rushing to Allemand's place. And according to the magazine, he was so worried about his girlfriend that he jumped out of his SUV, leaving his door open and the engine running.
The first thing Anderson reportedly saw upon entering Allemand's fourth-floor apartment was her knees, and it was apparently a blur after that. Anderson said he ran to the former reality TV star, screaming and trying to unwrap the extremely-tight vacuum-cleaner cord from around her neck. The cord allegedly hung from the second floor's handrail of the spiral staircase, and Allemand's dog Bentley ran toward him.
According to Sports Illustrated, a neighbor showed up and called paramedics while Anderson was attempting to revive Allemand, who left a simple note that read "Mom gets everything" on the dining room table. Anderson then reportedly called Donna, who swore at him for being insensitive about Allemand's condition and failing to protect her. The athlete said he sobbed and blamed himself.
Pelicans coach Monty Williams reportedly hurried to the house with a team security guard only to find Anderson curled up on the carpet with his back to the door. Williams tried to comfort Anderson, who was apparently drenched in sweat and tears and was too hysterical to walk.
"They dragged Ryan to the elevator and then into a waiting car, the tops of his feet, still wedged into flip-flops, scraping the asphalt so hard that his toes still bear thick white calluses more than a year later... Ryan cried so much that it felt as if he were dry heaving or bleeding internally," Sports Illustrated wrote.
Williams reportedly brought Anderson to his house, where Williams' wife Ingrid told the basketball player, "This is going to be hard for a long time."
Allemand had a tough childhood, according to her mother, and her best friend Becca Cohen described the former The Bachelor and two-time Bachelor Pad contestant as having had "the highest of highs and lowest of lows."
"She didn't want to spread bad energy," Cohen reportedly said. "Since college, I was worried about her, because she lived so much of her life for other people. Some people have their lives planned out and what they want, and it's very hard to deal with disappointment."
Allemand had battled eating disorders, heartbreaks and premenstrual dysphoric disorder -- resulting in her mother always fearing she'd lose her daughter. She "didn't think men could actually love," said Donna. "She used to tell me, 'I hate men.' All she wanted was to be loved. When it came to relationships, she always felt men would abandon her."
On August 13, Anderson and Donna visited Allemand in the hospital, and it was clear she was gone because she had gone too long without oxygen. At noon, Anderson reportedly arrived and still couldn't walk because he was overcome with grief and guilt. Donna's anger then vanished, according to the magazine, because Anderson looked like he had nothing left to live for.
"I'm sorry for what I said yesterday," Donna reportedly told Anderson, understanding that her passing that day wasn't his fault.
After Allemand died at the age of 29, Anderson said he shut down, moved back in with his parents and only ate when his mother forced him to. Family members reportedly took turns sleeping in his bed with him and Anderson just resorted to reading the Bible for any type of emotional support. According to Sports Illustrated, Anderson felt ashamed and deserving of punishment.
Anderson planned to sit out the basketball season or even retire, but after finally sleeping alone for the first time on October 5, two days later, he played ball again felt he had found "a sanctuary" on the basketball court.