Former 'Bachelorette' Contestant Allegedly Died Of Overdose, Sources Say

By Kelly Burch 06/02/17

Michael Nance spoke candidly about his past struggles with addiction on the eighth season of the reality dating show. 

Michael Nance
Photo via YouTube

A former contestant on The Bachelorette has reportedly died from a drug overdose while living in a sober home. 

Michael Nance was a contestant on season 8 of the dating show, which aired in 2012. On Monday, Nance, 31, was found unresponsive in Austin, Texas. Although authorities have declined to comment on the death until official reports are completed, a source told US Weekly that Nance’s death was drug-related. 

“Very sad news about Michael,” said Arie Luyendyk Jr., who was on The Bachelorette with Nance, according to an article in The Daily Mail. “Michael unfortunately overdosed while seeking help at a sober living home.”

However, the original article with the quote from Luyendyk Jr. has since been removed from Us Weekly’s site, replaced by an article that quotes Austin authorities. 

"At this point it is not a suspicious death and the manner will be determined by the medical examiner," a spokesperson for the Austin Police Department Homicide Unit in Texas told the magazine in a statement. 

However, Luyendyk tweeted,  “I will always remember my friend Micheal [sic] Nance for his kind and fragile soul. Addiction is a terrible disease, may he finally find peace.”

During his time on The Bachelorette, Nance spoke candidly about his past struggles with addiction. 

“I was addicted to prescription pain medicine. It all starts out fun and then somewhere along the road, it just turned into something else. It’s a vicious cycle and it ate away at me for a long time,” he said on the first episode of the season. “I’m almost two years sober, now, and it’s not that easy — you have to completely change your way of living.”

A source told People magazine that Nance was a sensitive man who was overwhelmed by the attention he received after his four weeks on the show. 

“He was the type of guy who felt things very deeply,” said the source. “Such a sensitive guy. You’ve got to remember that I met him when he was in his mid 20s, so he was pretty directionless. I don’t know that being on TV gave him any further direction. But he had such a good aura.”

Emily Maynard, who was the bachelorette during the season that Nance was on the show, tweeted in response to the news: “Such a kind heart with so much talent,” she wrote. “Sending prayers and love to his family and friends.”

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.