Jason David Frank’s wife has confirmed that the original Power Rangers star’s death was a result of suicide.
Tammie Frank has spoken out in an effort to set the record straight about both his passing and their relationship status, in an in-depth statement provided to People magazine.
She said that her husband had “tragically lost his life to suicide just last week”, aged 49.
“While Jason was a well-known name to some, we lived a very normal life with ups and downs, just like anyone else.
“It has shocked and saddened me beyond belief to see that the media has turned my family’s tragedy into a tall tale,” she said.
“Since Jason’s death, I have been harassed online and can no longer stand to watch my husband’s good name slandered.”
Frank said she and her husband had been working through some problems in their marriage, adding that “his death comes as much a shock to me as anyone else”.
“The truth is, I had no idea that Jason was thinking of ending things,” she said.
“Yes, he had struggled with mental health issues and depression before, but I could never predict what would happen that night.”
According to Frank, their 19-year marriage had its “troubles”, including the loss just a year ago of her daughter Shayla, whom she said her husband had helped raise.
“Between losing her and helping raise her baby son, Jason and I started having marital issues,” Frank said.
“For 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 six weeks ago opted to reconcile which included a weekend getaway that they were on when he died.
The night of his death, she said, they had a heartfelt conversation after returning from an event at a bar.
“To help Jason relax and sober up before turning down to sleep, I went downstairs to get us snacks from the lobby,” she told People.
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“I must’ve been gone no more than 10 minutes. I went back upstairs and began knocking on the door to no answer. I knocked repeatedly and kept calling for his name to open the door.”
Frank ended her statement asking people to “stop making assumptions and leave my family to grieve peacefully”.
“All we want is to remember Jason and 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.
“To all the fans and supporters of Jason and our family, thank you for your kind words and wishes and God bless you all.”
If you or anyone you know needs immediate support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or via lifeline.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.