Charo Breaks Silence on Husband's Suicide

Charo broke her silence after her husband of more than 40 years, Kjell Rasten, died by suicide.

"Yesterday, Kjell, My husband of 40 years and the love of my life killed himself. There are no words to describe what we are feeling now," the Spanish born singer and actress said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight. "He was an amazing man, a great husband and the best father I could imagine to our son. He dedicated his life to loving and supporting his family."

She added that a rare disease Rasten developed in recent years contributed to his depression.

kjell-rasten-charo_getty-Ron Galella : Contributor
(Photo: Ron Galella / Contributor, Getty)

"In recent years, his health began to decline and he developed a rare and horrible skin disease called Bullous Pemphigoid. He also became very depressed," Charo's statement read. "That, along with the many medications he needed to take, became too much for him, and he ended his suffering."

Charo added, "None of us had any idea this could happen to such a wonderful, kind and generous man. Please, if anyone you know and love is suffering from depression or illness, hold them close, tell them you love them with all your heart and that the world is better because they are in it. Get any help you can. Suicide is not the answer."

She concluded her statement with a message of thanks to her fans. "Thank you all so much for your love and concern. Thank you."

Police and paramedics responded to Charo and Rasten's Beverly Hills home Monday around 2 p.m. after someone inside called 911. Rasten was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, TMZ reports. The news outlet reported that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Rasten worked as a TV producer in the 1970s and '80s, married Charo in 1978 and soon after became her manager. The couple share son Shel, born in 1981, who is the drummer for the heavy metal band Treazen.

Charo, Rasten and Shel appeared on a 2015 episode of Celebrity Wife Swap with Charo's former Love Boat co-star Jill Whelan.


Following Charo's explosive burst to fame in the '70s and '80s, the couple moved to Hawaii in the '90s, where they opened their own dinner theater. Charo returned to television in the 2000s, appearing in Sprint and GEICO commercials as well as appearing on shows like Hollywood Squares, The Surreal Life and even That '70s Show. She appeared on season 24 of Dancing With the Stars in 2017, where she was paired with pro dancer Keo Motsepe. They were the second couple to be eliminated, finishing in 11th place.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).