TRANSGENDER star Rebekah Shelton appeared on Big Brother in 2009.
We take a look at her life, how she transitioned to a woman in 2012 and how she fell victim to a death hoax...
Who is Rebekah Shelton?
Rebekah appeared on Big Brother in 2009 as Rodrigo Lopes.
She finished fifth on the show’s tenth series while it was still on Channel 4.
Brazilian-born Rebekah became one half of Big Brother’s "first same sex couple" after taking a bath with co-star Charlie Drummond while in the house before they enjoyed an on-off relationship.
She made the decision to transition to a woman in 2012.
In 2018 she appeared on a celebrity special of The Jeremy Kyle show .
What did Rebekah say about her transition to becoming a woman?
Last year, Rebekah admitted she was struggling to cope because she felt so isolated.
She said: “At one point before my surgery I had to leave home, and for six months of my life I turned to prostitution. So many times I wanted to kill myself because I had no one to talk to.
“It was a big step to go full time as a woman. It’s different when you are having fun with your friends in the clubs, to changing your whole life and facing the rejection or acceptance of the world.”
Rebekah told OK! magazine: “No one wants to choose the hardest path to go through, it’s hard, it’s rough.”
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Speaking about her decision to transition following her appearance on Big Brother, Rebekah revealed she was inspired by a relationship with a man she met in her native Brazil.
She told The Daily Star: “He saw me as a woman, the person I am.
“When he took me out and introduced me to his friends, for the first time in my life, I felt like the person I was meant to be from when I was born."
Nonetheless, Rebekah admitted that the journey to her true self had been both physically and emotionally exhausting.
She added: “My advice to anyone considering transition would be think very carefully about your decision. I am the happiest I've ever been in myself, but I lost so much along the way.
“I lost friends, it divided my family and I had to undergo 16 surgeries. I'm not sure what I would do if I could go back in time.”
I’m not dead!!!!!! Please stop spreading this news!!!!! My lawyer is already working on this and this person who wants to spoil my happiness is going to pay for it!!!!! pic.twitter.com/6PEzjjEGye— Rebekah Shelton (@MissRShelton) January 12, 2018
What has she said about reports of her death?
On January 11, 2018, it was widely reported by multiple news organisations that Rebekah had passed away.
A statement posted from her social media handle initially read: "We're sorry to inform everyone of the sad news that our wonderful and lovely Rebekah died unexpectedly on Wednesday night."
But the next day Rebekah posted a video from the same Twitter account stating the news of her death was false and claiming that somebody else had posted the initial message.
She told fans: "I just want to kindly ask, please stop spreading this news that I'm dead because obviously, I'm not.
"I've been through hell today because someone used my Twitter account to write that stupid status about me.
"This person cant accept the fact I'm happy that I overcame all my problems and that I'm finally living my life happy.
"I'm on holiday. I'm in Arabia. And I'm not dead."
Source : https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/5324648/rebekah-shelton-rodrigo-lopes-big-brother-transgender-death-reports-hoax/1625