Turpin who was raised in Philadelphia's tough inner-city is survived by a girlfriend and their young daughter Anje. According to "The Contender" website, Turpin saw the show as "a real shot to get out of the ghetto and says they will have to kill him to beat him." [emphasis added]
This suicide recalled an incident that almost derailed "Survivor" before the wildly popular series could air in America. Sinisa Savija, a contestant in an early version of the show made for Swedish television, committed suicide after he was the first person voted off the island. A Swedish court subsequently found that the producers of the program were not responsible for Savija's death.
I'm guessing that Turpin was voted off "The Contender" as well. He and his next of kin are locked into a network contract that has them sworn to silence about the results of the reality show competition, in an effort not to spoil the broadcast finale. They needn't worry about Turpin talking, now.
Mark Burnett, the show's executive producer, said Turpin's death changes nothing as far as the program is concerned. "I'm not even going to make any edits because it's real."
Real? It seems "reality" mogul Burnett could use a lesson in the meaning of the word.
BoxingScene.com’s Rick Reeno takes Burnett's remorse one further, “should Turpin win [in the episodes to be aired] and keep winning, the suspense could generate heavy ratings for the show.” Anything to keep the Nielsens happy.
I hope that Anje and her mother know a good lawyer.