Josh Seiter, the former “Bachelorette” contestant whose death was falsely reported after his Instagram account was allegedly hacked Monday, assured fans Tuesday that he is alive — and the victim of a “cruel joke.”
“As you can see, I am alive and well,” he said in an Instagram video on Tuesday, explaining that his account had been hacked when the false statement of his death, purportedly from his family, was posted.
He called the hacking and fake death report a “cruel joke” that mocked his public struggles with mental illness.
“I’m sorry for all the pain they caused,” he said of whoever posted the fake death announcement. “I am going to try to do all I can with my team to try to find out who was behind this.”
Seiter was a contestant on Season 11 of “The Bachelorette,” competing for the affections of Kaitlyn Bristowe in 2015. He was eliminated in the first week.
Since his time on the series, he has been open about his battles with depression. In a 2021 Instagram post, Seiter identified himself as “a suicide attempt survivor” and said, “I battle OCD, bipolar depression and GAD [Generalized Anxiety Disorder], but I refuse to give up.”
Earlier this month, teen social media star Lil Tay was also subject to a similar alleged hacking in which she and her older brother were declared dead on her long-dormant Instagram page.
“I want to make it clear that my brother and I are safe and alive, but I’m completely heartbroken and struggling to even find the right words to say,” Lil Tay, whose legal name is Tay Tian, said in a statement issued by her family to TMZ. “It’s been a very traumatizing 24 hours. All day yesterday, I was bombarded with endless heartbreaking and tearful phone calls from loved ones all while trying to sort out this mess.”
“My Instagram account was compromised by a third party and used to spread jarring misinformation and rumors regarding me,” she said, noting that her legal name is Tay Tian, not “Claire Hope” as was stated in the fake report of her death.
Meta, Instagram’s parent company, did not immediately response to TheWrap’s request for comment.
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