A cause of death has not been released.
Sawyer’s standout Catfish episode — which aired in 2013 — revealed that she and her seven-year online crush, Michael Fortunato, had both sent each other altered images of themselves. Despite that, they agreed that they still had a connection. (Fortunato died of a pulmonary embolism at 26, just a month after the installment’s broadcast.)
In a recent catch-up special for the docuseries, Sawyer admitted that she was staying in a sober-living facility after struggling with addiction. According to MTV, she had since completed the program, gotten a job and begun living in her own apartment in Alabama, our sister site, Deadline, reports.
“MTV is deeply saddened to learn that Ashley Sawyer has passed away,” the network said in a statement. “Our condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.”
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Catfish host Max Joseph expressed his thoughts on Sawyer’s passing via Twitter: