Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health issues, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 to connect with a trained counselor or visit the NSPL site.
Jason David Frank’s wife has confirmed that the “Power Rangers” star’s death was the result of suicide.
In a statement provided to People, Tammy Frank spoke about both his passing and the status of their relationship in an effort to set the record straight.
She said that her husband “committed suicide only last week.”
He was 49 years old.
“While Jason was a familiar name to some, we lived a very normal life with ups and downs just like anyone else. It saddens me to see the media turn my family’s tragedy into a tall tale. There has been a lot of shock and sorrow. “Since Jason’s death, I have been harassed online and can no longer bear to see my husband’s good name being brought into disrepute.”
Frank said that she and her husband were working through some problems in their marriage, and that “his death has come as a shock to me as it has hit anyone else.”
“The truth is, I had no idea Jason was thinking of ending things,” she said. “Yes, he’s struggled with mental health issues and depression before, but I never could have predicted what would happen that night.”
According to Frank, their 19-year marriage had its “problems”, including the loss just a year earlier of their daughter, Shayla, whom she said her husband had helped raise.
“Between losing her and helping her raise the child, Jason and I started having marital issues,” Frank said. “As anyone who has known the pain of losing a child, I know you understand how such a loss changes things in your marriage.”
They decided to separate, she said, but opted to reconcile six weeks ago, which included a weekend break, before they died.
They had a heart-to-heart conversation after returning from a bar the night he died, she said.
“To help Jason relax and calm down before bedtime, I went down to the lobby to get snacks,” she told PEOPLE. “I must have been gone no more than 10 minutes. I went back upstairs and started knocking on the door with no answer. I knocked over and over and called his name to get him to open the door.
Frank ended his statement by asking people to “stop making assumptions and leave my family to grieve in peace.”
“We want Jason and ours to remember our happiest memories and move on from the pain of losing a loved one. I only ask for sympathy and understanding during this difficult time,” she said. “Jason and our family To all the fans and supporters, thank you for your kind words and wishes and may God bless you all.”