Nikki Grahame, a former reality TV star and “Big Brother U.K.” contestant, has died at the age of 38 after a long and public battle with anorexia.
According to a GoFundMe page set up in Grahame’s name earlier this year after she was hospitalized due to her condition, Grahame died early Friday. No other details were provided.
“It breaks our hearts to know that someone who is so precious was taken from us at such a young age,” the page reads. “Nikki not only touched the lives of millions of people, but also her friends and family who will miss her immensely.”
Grahame first appeared on the seventh season of “Big Brother U.K.” in 2006, later returning for “Ultimate Big Brother” and “Big Brother Canada.” She also starred in her own “Simple Life”-esque reality series, “Princess Nikki,” which ran on E4 for six episodes in 2006.
Grahame has spoken publicly about her battle with anorexia nervosa in the past, including authoring two books on the subject, “Dying To Be Thin” in 2009 and “Fragile” in 2012. She first developed the eating disorder as a child and was hospitalized multiple times throughout her youth.
Grahame’s mother told the Evening Standard that her daughter’s condition deteriorated in the last year after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic closed gyms in the U.K.
“This last year has just about floored her… From the first lockdown, it was hellish,” she said. “Then in December she fell down and cracked her pelvis in two places and broke her wrist. I stayed with her for three or four weeks because she couldn’t do anything.”
Funds from donated to the GoFundMe to help pay for Grahame’s treatment will now be held “until we have established an organisation supporting those suffering from anorexia to which we will make a donation in Nikki’s memory,” the page now reads. The page has raised more than 69,000 British pounds, about 94,600 U.S. dollars.
“I am so desperately sad to hear about Nikki Graham,” Davina McCall, host of Grahame’s season of “Big Brother,” wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “My thoughts are with her friends and family xx she really was the funniest, most bubbly sweetest girl.”