Police officers spent seven hours trying to talk down June Sarpong’s brother Sam, before he jumped to his death from the Colorado Street bridge in Pasadena, Los Angeles.
The 40-year-old British actor and Tommy Hilfiger model leapt to his death from the bridge in an apparent suicide after trained negotiators attempted to reason with him.
Mr Sarpong was a TV presenter, who co-hosted MTV’s Yo Momma show alongside Wilmer Valderrama.
The County of Los Angeles Medical Examiner confirmed the star died yesterday in an apparent suicide, but added that the official cause of death will not be known until the results of toxicology results come through.
Pasadena Police said that they were called to the bridge on the morning of 27 October after reports of a man standing on the outside of the railings.
Trained negotiators were called while members of his family provided information on his previous emotional state.
Popular British TV presenter June Sarpong, 38, later said about her brother’s death: “I love my brother very much. Sam was an amazing human being. I would ask anyone who is going through tough times to seek help. Please talk to someone”.
She added, “My family and I are in a state of shock; please allow us to grieve in private. Thank you for all your messages of condolence”.
Described by friends as “the life of the party”, Mr Sarpong was also the first black male model in a Luis Vuitton campaign.
The London-born model moved to Los Angeles when he was 11, and had dual American and British citizenship. To reflect and connect with this, he launched his own clothing line Future Stars – influenced by both British and Californian styles.
Tributes have been pouring in on social media for Mr Sarpong;
Vernon Kay tweeted: “In total shock at the death of SamSarpong. My thoughts are with June and her family #RIPSAM”.
Tyson Beckford also sent his message of condolence; “R.I.P Sam Sarpong. You will be missed Homie!”
Richard Blackwood sent a tweet to Mr Sarpong’s brother that read, “@junesarpong I wanted to send you a direct message but I am truly sorry to hear about Sam! My heart goes out to you & your family”.