Heartbreak Hits 'Vegas Elvis' Reality Show

Cast Member Commits Suicide

Apr 11, 2005, 01:00 ET from Elvis Entertainment International

    LAS VEGAS, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- A new reality show based on the life
 of Las Vegas Elvis Impersonator, Jesse Garon, entitled, "Vegas Elvis", became
 the second reality program in less than two months to suffer a cast member
 suicide.  One of the show's supporting cast members and producer, Melanie
 Bell, 36, became the third person and first woman to jump to her death from
 the outdoor observation tower of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas on Friday,
 March 25, 2005.
     This news comes on the heels of another reality show tragedy that was
 recently suffered by NBC and its highly rated show, "The Contender."  Unlike
 Najai Turpin of "The Contender", Bell's family and friends knew she suffered
 from severe depression which stemmed from her battle with Anorexia.  She was
 recently released from an undisclosed eating disorder clinic in Alabama where
 she had successfully gained almost forty pounds in less than six months.  Bell
 worked as a producer on "Vegas Elvis", a new first-of-its-kind experimental
 reality show that features the film crew as part of the featured cast, which
 is lead by Jesse Garon, known as "The Official Elvis of Las Vegas".
     "Melanie was a beautiful person and now to me the Stratosphere will always
 be a Heart Break Hotel," said Garon.
     Bell was often seen interviewing cast members and working out the day to
 day logistics of the show which had just finished filming the first four
 episodes the day before she took her own life.
     "Melanie was a good friend and co-worker for many years and will be dearly
 missed," said Christopher Dreyer, creator of "Vegas Elvis."  "Our heartfelt
 sympathy goes out to her family who should know that she was deeply loved by
 her fellow cast and crew in Las Vegas.  It will take some time to heal from
 this tremendous heartache but I know Melanie would agree the show must go on."
     "Vegas Elvis", co-produced by Elvis Entertainment International and Los
 Angeles-based production company, The Dream Factory, intends to dedicate the
 reality show to Bell while also paying tribute to her in a later episode that
 correlates to the timeline of her tragic death.
      Erik Swanson
      Elvis Entertainment International
      P: 702-474-9227
      C: 702-265-8424

SOURCE Elvis Entertainment International