Former Miss Great Britain and reality dating show Love Island contestant Sophie Gradon passed away at the age of 32. She was found dead at her parents home in Medburn, Newcastle, on June 20. It was her boyfriend, Aaron Armstrong, who broke the news on his Facebook page on June 21, writing: “I will never forget that smile. I love you so so much baby your my world forever ever and always.”
Sophie Gradon, who appeared on the 2016 series of the ITV2 dating show, was crowned Miss Newcastle and Miss Great Britain in 2009.
The Northumbria Police in a statement said, “At about 8.27pm (20 June) police attended a property in Medburn, Ponteland, where sadly a 32-year-old woman was found deceased. There are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding her death. A report will now be prepared for the coroner.”
Love Island presenter Caroline Flack called the news as sad and the makers of the program also expressed condolences in a tweet.
An on-screen tribute was also paid before the episode of the show on June 21 in loving memory of the former beauty queen.
The whole ITV2 and Love Island team are profoundly saddened to hear the news about Sophie, and our deepest sympathies and thoughts go to her family and friends.
— Love Island (@LoveIsland) June 21, 2018
The organizers of the Miss Great Britain contest also expressed shock and said they were sending love to Sophie’s family.
Shocked beyond belief!!! RIP @sophiegradon sending all our love to Sophie’s family at this incredibly sad time 😔xx
— Miss Great Britain ® (@Official_MissGB) June 21, 2018
Many, especially her former fellow contestants on Love Island, were left heartbroken and expressed shock on social media. Many described her as a “beautiful woman” with a “one in a million” smile, and “beautiful soul”.
However, what is shocking to learn about the sad demise of the former Great Britain beauty queen is that she died after battling ‘brutal’ online trolls and depression.
After the death of Sophie, Malin Andersson, who starred alongside Sophie on the 2016 series of Love Island, has spoken out about the harsh realities of online abuse and dealing with ‘chasing the dream’ versus the brutal reality of leaving the hit ITV2 show in an interview. She said that both she and Sophie took ‘trolling to heart’.
The reality star, who was left heartbroken when Sophie was found dead, said her ‘beautiful friend’ would let online trolls ‘play in the back of her head’. “We both battled it a little bit together, we both understood each other when it came to that. We’d take things to heart, so the trolling and stuff, I’ve got more used to it now, but with Sophie, I think it would always play in the back of her head,” Malin told Digital Spy.
It is also learnt that Sophie previously spoke about the ‘horrific’ effects online trolls had on her life in her interview with Radio Aire.
In the interview, the former beauty queen has reportedly heavily relayed her distaste for viewers forming negative opinions on reality stars before hauntingly noting, ‘The harsh reality is, it can end up with that person taking their own life.’ She has also reportedly revealed that she wasn’t prepared for the ‘scale of comments’ from their ‘thousands of new followers’ who heavily judged her admitting, ‘It can really get into your mind and really affect you.’
What a tragic end! Indeed, harsh online trolls and abuses can land a heavy impact on someone’s life! Let’s stop it once and for all. Rest in peace, Sophie Gradon.