Gia Allemand's mom Donna Micheletti discusses 'The Bachelor' bachelorette's suicide
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/09/2013
Gia Allemand's mother Donna Micheletti has opened up about why she believes the former The Bachelor bachelorette called her on the phone to have a conversation in the dire moments leading up to her August 12 suicide.
"I'm the closest person in the world to her and she didn't want to be alone when she left this world. So she wanted Mommy to be there, I guess," a tearful Micheletti told Dr. Phil star Phil McGraw during an appearance on the syndicated daytime program. "I heard her last breath."
Micheletti's interview with McGraw will air during Tuesday's Dr. Phil broadcast. Apart from a few statements previously released by Allemand's family following the former The Bachelor and Bachelor Pad contestant's death, this marks the first time Micheletti will engage in a public interview.
"It destroys me but if it made her feel better, then that's fine," Micheletti added of that memorable phone conversation with her daughter. "I don't mind dealing with this."
Official documents obtained by TMZ state Allemand's boyfriend Ryan Anderson found the former reality TV star last month unconscious, sitting on the steps of a spiral staircase in his home with a vacuum cleaner cord "wrapped around her neck many times."
Allemand was on the phone with her mom right before her hanging, as Micheletti told police the call "had gone silent" and she desperately tried to speak with her daughter for about 10 minutes afterwards.
When Anderson found Allemand, she had reportedly been without oxygen for at least 30 minutes by that point and left a suicide note in which she stated Micheletti would receive all of her daughter's property. Anderson then immediately contacted 911 and Allemand was taken to University Hospital in New Orleans.
After remaining in critical condition and on life support for two days, Allemand passed away when her life support was withdrawn due to the fact she had "a critical loss of brain and organ function," according to a previous statement released by Allemand's representative.
During her appearance, Micheletti told McGraw, "I'm really mad that [Gia] did this for no reason. In 12 hours it would have been fine. I'm really angry."
McGraw also told Allemand's mother, "Celebrate all of the days of her life and don't focus on just that one moment of her death."
In addition to Micheletti, Allemand's former publicist Penelope Jean Hayes appeared on the Dr. Phil episode as did The Bachelor's fourteenth-season star Jake Pavelka. Allemand competed on Pavelka's edition, which aired in 2010.
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"I've never lost anybody close to me before," a teary-eyed Pavelka told McGraw.
"Gia really understood me. We got really close after the show. We had such a special relationship. I can't tell you how lucky I feel that I knew her, but I wish it was not for such a short time, because I've never met anybody like her."
McGraw also asked Pavelka whether he was ever in love with Allemand.
"Yes, and I never fell out," Pavelka replied.
Following Allemand's stint on The Bachelor, Allemand returned to compete on the first and second seasons of the reality dating show's Bachelor Pad spinoff, which aired in 2010 and 2011 respectively.