Mychael Knight, fan-favorite star of the reality series Project Runway and fashion designer, has died at the age of 39. At the time of this writing, the cause of his death has not been revealed. The news was first reported by TMZ and has since been confirmed by various news outlets. His family has released a statement on his passing, via Obvious. Here's the official statement.
"We are still processing the untimely death of our son, brother, friend, and uncle. Mychael meant everything to us and we loved him dearly. He was generous and so full of life. This is how we choose to remember his legacy."
The reality TV star died at 7:25 a.m. outside of Atlanta, Georgia, surrounded by family and friends. His family has requested that their privacy be respected during this time while they grieve. Though the cause of Mychael Knight's death has not yet been revealed, there is speculation that he died of complications related to his battle with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Knight revealed on social media earlier this year that he has been battling with IBS for the past five years and that this year has "taken a toll" on his health. Here's what he had to say about it in a Facebook post from July of this year.
"For the past 5 years, I've been suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). This year really taken a toll on my health...badly. In short, IBS is a gastor-intestinal disorder in which the food I eat, my body doesn't absorbed (malabsorption) the nutrients from what I eat. In addition, b/ c I have a 'leaky gut', openings in my intestines, toxins from that food leak into my bloodstream, which can cause Autoimmune diseases (Diabetes, Lupus, Celiac Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis)."
As a star of Project Runway season 3, Mychael Knight became one of the most beloved participants in the history of the long-running series, even though he placed fourth and didn't win. He came back for a season of Project Runway All Stars and went on to have a successful career. He designed some custom shirts for Starbucks and started his own line of lingerie. He also developed his own fragrance, Majk. Many fans, as well as those who knew and worked with Knight over the years, have taken to social media to share their feelings. Bravo's Andy Cohen had this to say on Twitter.
"I am so sad to hear about Mychael Knight. When he appeared on #ProjectRunway he was the sweetest guy, full of life, ambition & talent. #rip"
Mychael Knight's family has designated Obivous as their official media source for coverage relating to his death, so they should have more updates and will share the information as soon as it's made available. Many more have taken to social media to share their thoughts on Knight's passing, which you can read for yourself below. RIP, Mychael Knight.