Miriam Rivera, the world’s first transgender reality television star, died Feb. 5 in Mexico under mysterious circumstances. She was 38.
Though Rivera died several months ago, the news emerged Friday. Her husband, Daniel Cuervo, confirmed her death in a February Facebook post.
According to reports, she was found in her apartment and appeared to have hanged herself; however, Cuervo disputes suicide as her cause of death and told Daily Mail Australia he suspects foul play.
Rivera was best known for her 2004 British reality television dating show “There’s Something About Miriam” and her guest appearance on “Big Brother Australia’s” fourth season the same year. The former reality show sparked controversy when contestants filed personal injury lawsuits against the show’s production company Endemol after Rivera waited until the final episode to reveal that she was transgender. The show’s winner, Tom Rooke, initially accepted the prize money of £10,000 and a vacation with Rivera, but later returned his winnings and joined the other competitors in their lawsuits. Endemol settled for an undisclosed amount.
Upon speaking with “Big Brother” host Gretel Killeen about her upbringing in Mexico, she expressed her need for endurance.
“You have to be really strong, I went through a lot. You have no idea what I went through, it’s not even funny,” said Rivera. “But I’m a strong woman!”
In 2007, she suffered a fall from her New York apartment, allegedly to escape an intruder. Rivera was also a part of the New York ball scene, repping the house of Xtravaganza.
Her husband paid tribute to his late wife in his February Facebook post.
“My Adorable wife rest in peace darling until God lets us be together again,” he wrote.
The house of Xtravaganza also posted to Instagram sending condolences.