[UPDATE:] Sam’s family released a statement that read:
“It is with great sadness that the family of Samuel Sarpong, Jr. must share the news that Sam has passed away. The circumstances surrounding his death are currently under investigation and no additional details are known at this time. Information about final arrangements will be forthcoming. The family appreciates the thoughts prayers and other expressions of sympathy, and request their privacy be respected at this extremely difficult time. Samuel Sarpong Jr. is survived by his father Samuel Sarpong Sr., and his sister June Sarpong. Samuel Sarpong was 40 years old.”
Famous model and former co-host of MTV’s Yo Momma, Sam Sarpong has died at the age of 40.
According to the Pasadena Police Department, the British-American actor and model jumped off a bridge in Pasadena, California earlier this week. We are told that Sampong jumped after a seven-hour exchange with officials.
“The individual demonstrated suicidal tendencies and members of the Pasadena Police Department Crisis Negotiation Team responded and established dialog with the male, (40 years of age and Pasadena resident),” a press release by the police department read. “While conversing with the individual, members of his family arrived and provided background regarding his emotional state. Tragically, after approximately seven hours of communication, the male jumped from the bridge into the Arroyo. He was pronounced deceased by Pasadena Fire Paramedics at 3:52 PM.”
Wilmer Valderrama posted an emotional message on Instagram with a photo of he and Sarpong.
“I am so sad & so confused.. Sam did it all, believed in dreaming bigger than anyone around him.. We made memories together that will last us forever, thank you for sharing your talent with me and the world.. You were a light everywhere you went and I couldn’t be more proud of the journey you traveled.. You just left us too early Sam.. We will miss you and pray for you.. Once again thank you for all those years you dedicated to our show, we couldn’t have done it without you!”
He added, “Find your peace my brother! And to everyone in a dark place.. PLEASE, please talk to someone.. Anyone.. Trust me that we WILL listen.. You are not alone, there are so many people that feel the same darkness, let’s help one another, let us shine hope on all those that need our understanding!! Reach out to someone and make your first step towards living a life you deserve. My prayers and heart are with family and friends that were blessed to know his beautiful soul #RIPSamSarpong.”
Sarpong moved to Los Angeles when he was 11 years old and appeared in a several shows and movies, including Love Don’t Cost A Thing, Family Matters, Pacific Blue and ER.
Sam was also one of the first black male models for designer Tommy Hilfiger and served as the face of the brand for over six years. Recently, Sarpong served as the host of the BET Awards pre-show All Access.