Catfish Star Michael Fortunato Dies at 26 — Girlfriend Ashley Sawyer Reacts
The universe of MTV's online-dating show Catfish just became a little smaller. The network reports the sad news that Michael Fortunato — who was featured on the Season 2 episode "Ashley and Mike" — died on Saturday, October 12, in Hartford, Connecticut.
The office of the local medical examiner told MTV that Mike suffered a pulmonary embolism, a blockage in one of the arteries of one's lungs.
His online love connection, Ashley Sawyer, told MTV that Mike was "the most honest, loyal person I'd ever met in my life," adding that she and he were "very much in love" and that they had planned on spending New Year's Eve in her hometown of Atlanta, where she would meet his sister Gena for the first time.
"He would give anybody the last shirt he had — anything," Ashley continued. "He would put his life on hold just to make sure other people moved forward. He always put people first… If more people were like Mike, everybody would be a little happier in the world."
"He was a little kid at heart — a gentle giant," Gena tells MTV. "The biggest heart that you'd ever meet."
We send our deepest condolences to Ashley, Gena, and the rest of his friends and family.