When Drake Bell was “completely shocked” to learn of ex-girlfriend and YouTuber Stevie Ryan’s suicide.
The Drake & Josh star told PEOPLE that Ryan’s death was unexpected and “surreal.”
“I was completely shocked by that,” he said. “It’s still surreal.”
Ryan died in her home July 1. The 33-year-old viral video actress’ death was ruled a suicide by hanging according to the L.A. County Coroner’s Office. Drake & Josh star Bell is still trying to wrap his head around the loss.
“She was really, really stinking talented. She could do any impression of anybody,” Bell said. “She had the coolest style of any girl I’d ever met. She had it.”
Bell dated Ryan, who rose to fame with her YouTube series Little Roca, for a year between 2005 and 2006. Despite the time since the end of their relationship, Bell’s grief was apparent his Tweet responding to news of Ryan’s death.
“No no no!!! I can NOT BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENNING!!!! Please wake me from this nightmare @StevieRyan I loved you and will forever miss you!” Bell tweeted along with a photo of himself and Ryan on the red carpet.
Ryan, who most recently had been the co-host of a podcast about depression called Mentally Ch(ill) had discussed her concerns that the recent death of her grandfather would send her “into a deeper depression.” In the wake of her death, Bell stressed the importance of taking depression and suicide seriously.
“All I can say, is if anybody says anything about doing something like that, take it seriously and don’t ignore it,” Bell said.
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