Ashley Sawyer, Subject of MTV's 'Catfish,' Dies at 23


Sawyer appeared on a 2013 episode where she met Michael Fortunato, who tragically died one month after their episode aired.

Ashley Sawyer, who appeared on the second season of MTV's Catfish, has died of unknown causes. She was 23.

“MTV is deeply saddened to learn that Ashley Sawyer has passed away,” the network told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement on Monday. “Our condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.”

Sawyer appeared on a 2013 episode of the docuseries after reaching out to hosts Nev Schulman and Max Joseph about meeting her digital companion Michael Fortunato face-to-face. When the pair met, they realized they had both been catfishing each other, but recognized their connection and ended the episode with plans to meet again.

One month after the episode aired, however, Fortunato passed away from a pulmonary embolism at the age of 26.

“The last thing we said to each other was that we loved each other,” Sawyer said during a recent Catfish catch-up special, where she also said that she was staying in a sober-living facility after having struggled with addiction.

Sawyer's sister, Jessica Ross, told MTV News that Sawyer had completed the program and was living in her own apartment in Alabama.

“We had a great relationship,” Ross told MTV News. “I know she knows how much I loved her and she loved me, and I am so sad that she’s gone. She was so funny, she could make me laugh on my absolute worst day. She was just a really fun person to be around.”

Joseph also shared his condolences on Twitter, saying he was "shocked and saddened."

Watch a clip of Sawyer's 2013 episode below.

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