Doctor Who Treated Deceased French Survivor Contestant Commits Suicide
Thierry Costa, the staff doctor for the French Survivor spin-off Koh-Lanta, committed suicide Monday, The Hollywood Reporter reports. Costa's death comes 10 days after contestant Gerald Babin died of a heart attack on the first day of filming the latest season.
"We have learned with dismay that Dr. Thierry Costa passed away in Cambodia today," a statement from Adventure Line Productions read. "His high level of professionalism and humanity towards participants and production teams has always been unanimously recognized."
Costa, who had been with Koh-Lanta four seasons, left a suicide note that said his reputation had suffered after Babin's death.
"Unjust accusations and assumptions have been made against me," he wrote, adding he was confident that he treated Babin "as a patient and not as a contestant."
Babin, 25, complained of cramping during a tug-of-war challenge and was treated on set, but he suffered "a series of cardiac arrests" en route to the hospital and passed away.
After Babin's death, the entire season of Koh-Lanta was canceled and Babin's family announced they are seeking damages on the basis of "illegal conditions" and "breaches of health and safety." French authorities have also opened a manslaughter inquiry into Babin's death.
According to Deadline, Adventure Line Productions announced it was going to sue for defamation after an anonymous source questioned Costa and the production team's on-site treatment.