Everyone knows Vienna Girardi as the controversial contestant who clashed with the women of The Bachelor on season 14 and eventually got the guy. But even though she won the heart of Jake Pavelka over Gia Allemand, the two became the closest of friends.
In the wake of the tragic news of Allemand’s apparent suicide, she couldn’t hold back tears.
“She was my best friend from the show,” Girardi told Celebuzz, who last spoke with her a couple months ago.
“I had no idea she was fighting any of these demons at all.”
“I was shocked more than anything.”
Girardi said after their season of the hit ABC show came to an end, they became closer than ever. When Allemand moved to Girardi’s hometown of Orlando, Florida to be with her boyfriend, NBA star Ryan Anderson, the girlfriends were constant companions. And when Allemand moved to Louisiana a year ago when Anderson transferred to the New Orleans Pelicans they stayed in touch.
“She loved Ryan so much,” added Girardi.
“I had no idea that anything was going on in her life. She always seemed so happy and full of life to be around.
“The way she talked about him, she was going to marry him. It’s so hard being one of her closest friends you never really know the demons people are battling.”
But Girardi will always remember her best friend as a “beautiful soul.”
“She was a beautiful person with a beautiful soul,” she said. “It’s hard when this happens when the person is so young and so beautiful.”
According to a statement released by her family Wednesday, Allemand was found by Anderson in her home following an apparent suicide attempt Monday night.
After emergency medical crews arrived at the scene she was rushed to the hospital “unconscious in critical condition and on life support.”
“Due to a critical loss of brain and organ function, life support was withdrawn today,” the statement reads.
“Ms. Allemand passed away peacefully with her mother, boyfriend, and other life-long friends by her side. As a practicing Christian, Gia did receive the sacrament of last rites.
“Loved ones and fans will remember Gia Allemand as a caring woman who loved her family and was well-known for her compassion towards animals and mission to rescue homeless pets.”