Actor and model Sam Sarpong, the former co-host of MTV’s Yo Momma, died Monday in Pasadena, California, his publicist confirmed to EW. He was 40 years old.
Sarpong died of an apparent suicide, People reports. Pasadena law enforcement and fire officials responded to calls of a man on a bridge, and family members called to the scene provided “background regarding his emotional state,” police told People. “Tragically, after approximately seven hours of communication, the male jumped from the bridge,” the police statement reads.
“The family appreciates the thoughts prayers and other expressions of sympathy, and request their privacy be respected at this extremely difficult time,” reads a statement from Sarpong’s rep.
The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner completed postmortem testing Wednesday, and a determination of a cause of death has been deferred pending more investigation, a spokesperson tells EW.
The U.K.-born Sarpong’s first televised appearance was in a 1994 episode of the Claire Danes show My So-Called Life. He acted and modeled, including a six-year stint as the face of Tommy Hilfiger, before taking up Yo Momma co-host duties alongside Wilmer Valderrama in 2006. Sarpong appeared in two episodes of Bones last season and is set to appear in an episode of FX’s American Crime Story next year.
“Sam was a friend and a longtime client,” his agent J.D. Sobol tells EW. “Had a pure heart and always went out of his way to help others. We will all miss him dearly.”
Sarpong is survived by his father, Samuel Sr., and his sister, June, who is a TV personality in the U.K.