After many conversations back and forth, we are officially posting the cause of death of Wesley Durden, contestant on Next Great Baker. While we don’t feel that publicly posting news of this great sadness is beneficial to our culture at The Bakery Network, we also feel that instead of hunches and rumours flying around, we would give you the news straight from Joyce Chen, with New York Daily News.
Reality TV has claimed its latest victim…Wesley Durden of Next Great Baker.
A contestant on TLC’s “Next Great Baker,” Sgt. Wesley Durden, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after production wrapped in October, according to Fayetteville, N.C. authorities. The network announced Durden’s death at the conclusion of Monday’s episode but failed to mention the death was reportedly a suicide.
“In Memoriam, Wesley Durden 1982-2011, TLC extends its deepest condolences to Wesley’s family and friends,” the network’s on-air note read. “He will be warmly remembered by the cast and crew of ‘Next Great Baker.’”
Durden, 28, was an Iraq War veteran in addition to being a competitor on the baking show.
According to the Jacksonville Daily News newspaper in his home state of North Carolina, Durden was a cook with the 82nd Airborne Division, and was deployed to Iraq twice – from January 2007 to March 2008 and from August 2009 to December 2009.
He is survived by his wife and two young children, Wesley Joel, 7, and Giannia, 2.
Earlier this year, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” husband Russell Armstrong made headlines after he hanged himself over alleged money and marital problems with wife Taylor.
A friend of the businessman told RadarOnline.com at the time that Armstrong had reached out to him in the days prior to his suicide.
“He was down in the dumps over the latest allegations that he had abused Taylor,” photographer Tom Vickers said of his last conversation with the reality show husband. “I told him people don’t believe everything they read and he told me: ‘It’s funny how a reality show can ruin your entire life.’”