Catfish host Nev Schulman has expressed his condolences following news that Ashley Sawyer — who appeared on the MTV series’ second season — has died at 23.
“Some people are just too fragile and beautiful for this world,” Schulman wrote in a Facebook post late Monday night. “So sad to hear about the passing of Ashley Sawyer today. Her and Mike were both such amazing people who struggled through so much. Their lives were short but filled with courage and love. I like to think they are together now where nothing can hurt them. Sending love to them and their families.”
Schulman’s co-host Max Joseph also paid tribute Monday, tweeting, “Shocked and saddened by the death of Ashley Sawyer. So sweet and kind. Thoughts and prayers go out to her family.”
Sawyer’s episode, which aired in 2013, revealed that both she and her longtime online crush, Michael Fortunato, had exchanged false images with each other. The pair eventually decided that they still had a connection. One month after the episode first aired, Fortunato died of a pulmonary embolism at the age of 26.
In a recent Catfish follow-up episode, Sawyer revealed that she was living in a sober living facility as she struggled with a drug addiction. Her sister confirmed to MTV that she had completed a treatment program and was living alone at the time of her death, the cause of which is still unknown.
MTV confirmed Sawyer’s death in a statement released Monday, saying, “MTV is deeply saddened to learn that Ashley Sawyer has passed away. Our condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.”