Editor's note: On Tuesday, August 29, Josh Seiter posted to Instagram that his account was hacked and he was not dead. He said he and his team are investigating the situation and will post any further information they uncover.
Former Bachelorette contestant Josh Seiter, a bisexual man who had struggled with depression and other mental health issues, has died at age 36.
Seiter’s death was announced by his family Monday on his Instagram page. “It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share the tragic news of Joshua's unexpected passing,” the family wrote. “As all who knew him can attest, Joshua was an incredibly bright light in an increasingly dim world. His fearless voice and indomitable spirit helped thousands of people in their darkest moments feel just a little less alone. Although our heartache at Joshua’s passing pains us beyond measure, we find comfort knowing that he is finally at peace. We hope and pray that his spirit can continue to live on in the pictures and words on this page, which we will leave up for the time being. While we do that, we would kindly ask for privacy as we grieve. For anybody who is experiencing a mental health crisis and needs help, the 988 SMS Lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress, as well as prevention and crisis resources.”
The post did not state a cause of death.
Seiter competed on season 11 of The Bachelorette in 2015. He was eliminated the first week.
He came out as bi in June in an interview with Instinct Magazine. His awareness of his bisexuality came “later in life,” he told the publication. “I believe my upbringing, in the homeschooled Christian niche that we were brought up in, stayed with me, both consciously and unconsciously, for years after leaving home for college,” he explained. “I always knew as an early teen I was different sexually, I just don’t think I had the vocabulary to articulate what the difference was.”
Seiter had worked as an exotic dancer and an escort. He had been linked romantically with several women and had been engaged briefly to another male dancer, David, with whom he performed in the America’s Loverboys troupe. He announced in July that he planned to star in a series of adult films.
He had been open about his mental health struggles, posting on social media in 2021 that he had attempted suicide at one time and had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. He elaborated in another post a year later, writing on Instagram, 'When I was 21 I was completely catatonic and committed to a psychiatric ward. When I was 22 I tried taking my own life. At 23 I underwent electroshock therapy. Later that year I harnessed every bit of strength I had and applied to law school. At 25 I graduated law school top of my class. By 30 I became one of the most followed mental health advocates online and one of the top creators on [OnlyFans]. At almost 36, life is pretty dang near perfect. Never, ever give up. Your story isn’t written yet. Every chapter is leading to a more perfect ending. I promise.”
Last Thursday, in his final post, he accompanied a selfie with the caption “Surviving depression and anxiety one day at a time with a smile.”
If you are having thoughts of suicide or are concerned that someone you know may be, resources are available to help. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 is for people of all ages and identities. Trans Lifeline, designed for transgender or gender-nonconforming people, can be reached at (877) 565-8860. The lifeline also provides resources to help with other crises, such as domestic violence situations. The Trevor Project Lifeline, for LGBTQ+ youth (ages 24 and younger), can be reached at (866) 488-7386. Users can also access chat services at TheTrevorProject.org/Help or text START to 678678.