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.
Elvis Entertainment International
SOURCE Elvis Entertainment International