New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson is opening up about the August 2013 suicide of model girlfriend Gia Allemand.
The 26-year-old Ryan speaks extensively with Sports Illustrated about the ordeal and how he continues to battle to come to grips with it. Ryan tells SI the “first thing he saw upon entering Gia’s fourth-floor apartment were her knees… the vacuum-cleaner cord hanging around her neck.”
According the magazine, a neighbor quickly called 911 as Anderson frantically tried to revive Allemand to no avail. Later, Anderson recalls seeing a three-word note left on the dining room table in her handwriting that read “mom gets everything.”
For a while, Anderson admits he blamed himself for the tragedy, now he simply wants to do all he can so others won’t have to go through the pain of having to deal with anything like it.
Anderson insists he is committed to helping others who suffer from depression. “Anyone who knows Gia knows that selfish was the last thing she was,” he said in completely rejecting the notion that those who turn to it are being selfish. “She would never want to cause anyone suffering. He just wanted to escape the pain.”
So focused is Anderson on eradicating the illness, he insist he’s willing to became the public face in the battle to conquer it.
“People need to put a face to suicide prevention and survival, and I’m O.K. being that face,” he said. “I’m not overjoyed that I have to talk about the most painful experience of my life, but either I become that face or I tuck myself away in a corner and I let this rule over me.”
[Photo Credit: Matt Britt]