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Survivor doctor death blamed on media

Dr Thierry Costa, the medic on the French version of reality show Survivor has died, leaving a note blaming the media for 'sullying' his reputation after the death of a contestant. For support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

PT1M20S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2h483 620 349

The doctor for the French version of hit reality TV show Survivor has been found dead in Cambodia with a note blaming the media, in which he claimed his name was "sullied" after a contestant in his care died of a heart attack.

"In recent days my name has been sullied in the media," Dr Thierry Costa wrote in the note just over a week after the death of 25-year-old Gerald Babin on a remote Cambodian island.

Costa, 38, complained of "unfair accusations" against him in the note obtained from Media Medic, the subcontractor that provided the doctor for the hugely popular Koh Lanta series by Adventure Line Productions (ALP).

Host of French Survivor Denis Broginart, with Facebook image of Gerald Babin (inset).

Host of French Survivor Denis Broginart, with Facebook image of Gerald Babin (inset).

Costa had been Koh Lanta's emergency physician for four seasons, ALP said in a statement, adding: "Everyone admired his great professionalism with the participants and the production staff."

Babin died of a heart attack on the first day of filming on the tropical island of Koh Rong on March 22, prompting French broadcaster TF1 to axe the show's 2013 season, its 16th.

It was the first death in any French reality TV program.

Costa said in his handwritten note he was "sure of having treated Gerald in a respectable way, as a patient and not as a contestant".

He added: "Even though I regret this unhappy end, I acted in conformity with the Hippocratic Oath."

ALP said Costa administered emergency care to Babin when he complained of cramps during one of the challenges set for contestants before the contestant was flown to hospital in nearby Sihanoukville, where he died.

French authorities have opened a preliminary inquiry into "involuntary homicide" to determine the cause of death, although the Cambodian authorities have determined that Babin died of natural causes.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

AFP