Melissa Rycroft befriended late reality personality Gia Allemand when the two were on "Bachelor Pad" together, and Melissa says she was shocked by news of Gia's apparent suicide.
"She was an amazing, amazing girl. She was one of the first girls that I made friends with while I was hosting there," Melissa told Access Hollywood's Kit Hoover in a new interview. "She had this aura about her that exudes sweetness and I'm still kind of in shock along with everybody else. Wonderful, wonderful girl."
Melissa said that she had maintained contact with Gia, but hadn't physically seen her in roughly a year. However, based on their casual interactions, Gia seemed to be a good place.
"From what appearances showed, everything was great with her," Melissa said. "Her world seemed to be a happy place. I'm stunned, I'm shocked."
And the former "Bachelor" star doesn't buy into rumors claiming Gia's insecurities about her appearance may have driven her to end her life.
"I don't think you can identify someone getting plastic surgery with knowing something like this is gonna happen one day," she said. "I didn't see the crazy insecure side of Gia, I saw a sweet girl that wanted to be liked and I think she was liked. She was genuinely nice -- what you saw was what you got with her."
Adding, "I think the most shocking thing about this is that no one saw this coming. I don't think anybody thought her of all people would have this happen. It's really sad and tragic."
As for how Melissa hopes her friend will be remembered, she said Gia's kindness is what sticks out.
"She was a huge animal lover. I know every time I saw her she had a big smile on her face," Melissa said. "She befriended everyone. I never heard a nasty thing come out of her mouth and I think that's how she needs to be remembered."
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- Arts & Entertainment
- Gia Allemand
- Melissa Rycroft