Bachelorette star Josh Seiter wants to be ‘open and honest’ about mental health after death hoax

Former Bachelorette contestant Josh Seiter has spoken about his mental health after an Instagram hacker posted that he was dead.

The hoax news about bisexual Seiter, who appeared on the show in 2015, left fans shocked after a hacker posted the statement, alluding to mental health problems, to his 460,000 Instagram followers on Monday (28 August).

The following day, after several news publications had reported his death, Seiter regained control over his account and posted a video confirming he was “alive and well” and apologised for the “pain caused”.

He added: “Somebody was playing a cruel joke and mocking my mental illness and the struggles I’ve gone through with depression and suicide attempts.”

The hacking comes days after Seiter posted an Instagram selfie with the caption: “Surviving depression and anxiety one day at a time with a smile.”

In an interview with People magazine following the incident, the 36-year-old OnlyFans influencer was candid about his battle with mental health issues, which include depression and obsessive-compulsive and bipolar disorders.

“If you’re not open and honest, it precludes a connection to other people who are going through something similar,” Seiter said.

“I feel like silence is going to lead inevitably to more suffering and more pain. When you’re open about something, it opens up connections to other people who might be going through the same thing, and through those connections, you can find more strength. It’s kind of like strength in numbers.”

He hopes to make the “difficult journey a little more bearable [and] connect with others going through something similar”, he added.

“If I’m dealing with obsessive-compulsive thoughts and depression and anxiety in silence, it tends to build on itself. If I can speak to somebody about it, it allows me to get it off my chest. I think it just makes finding a solution a little bit easier.”

He has sought treatment using cognitive behavioural therapy.

As for the ongoing exploration of his sexuality, he added: “I just love everybody. I mostly dated women, though.”

In a statement to Entertainment Weekly, Seiter hit back against claims from his ex-partner, Drag Race star Monica Beverly Hillz, that he faked his own death.

“Those are ridiculous accusations made up by somebody with nothing better to do with their time, he said. “As a mental health advocate, issues of suicide are very sensitive for me.

“To suggest that I would orchestrate a death post around that issue is sickening. I have dedicated the past eight years of my life [to] blogging and raising awareness about mental health, and I will continue to do so, regardless of what my detractors have to say.”

Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in America can contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by texting 988 (988lifeline.org). 

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