Nev and Max from Catfish traveled across the United States to help people find out if their online relationships were real or not. However, fans around the world have had to say goodbye to previous cast members following various tragedies. We remember the beloved Catfish guests after their devastating deaths.

Despite always wanting to have a happy ending in each love story Nev Schulman and Max Joseph encountered, Catfish didn’t always feature fairytales. The duo only had one goal: to capture those who were catfishing others through online relationships, and to offer closure. Or in more positive episodes, to help two people meet after they fell for each other on the internet.

Throughout failures and successes, the two have had to say goodbye to some of its cast members who appeared in the series. Catfish fans have had to mourn three people who sadly died after working with the show.

These tragedies happened before Kamie Crawford took over Max’s position in 2020.

MTV’s Catfish’s tragic deaths

Robert Brian Clark

Robert Brian Clark met Jesse on Catfish Season 2
Screenshot from Catfish False Identità 2: Jesse e Brian | Episodio 8 (completo) | MTV Italy YouTube account

In 2017, several reports announced the death of Robert Brian Clark, who appeared in the second season of Catfish.

Robert, who was better known as Brian, showed up in 2013 when Jesse, the girl he was talking to, contacted Nev and Max to finally meet him.

The two had been talking for three years, meeting through a mutual friend on Facebook. Despite their physical attraction and chemistry when they meet each other on the show, it didn’t exactly go to plan.

Jesse meets Brian’s extended family down in Alabama, however, in the two-month catch-up with the cast, they couldn’t make it work. The two decided not to take their relationship any further.

According to Alabama News, Brian passed away in a tragic motorcycle incident at the age of 33 in Birmingham.

Catfish paid a moving tribute to Robert during an episode of the series.

Ashley Sawyer

Ashley Sawyer shares her online relationship in Catfish
Screenshot from MTV Italia’s YouTube: Catfish False Identità 2: Ashley e Mike | Episodio 10 (completo)

Ashley Sawyer’s death shocked the Catfish community. She appeared in the second season, which came out in 2013. She explained, she had been texting and sending Photoshopped photos of herself with a boy named Mike for more than seven years.

To her surprise, Mike was not the person he claimed to be in his own photos, either. Despite the bitter end to their online relationship, the two remained on good terms.

Three years later, the sad news of her passing was announced. As reported by The Mirror, she died of a suspected drug overdose and was pronounced dead at the scene despite numerous medical attempts.

She was only 23.

MTV released a statement following the news of Ashley’s death, where they wrote: “MTV is deeply saddened to learn that Ashley Sawyer has passed away. Our condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.”

Michael Fortunato

Michael Fortunato and his online relationship with Ashley in Catfish
Screenshot from MTV Italia’s YouTube: Catfish False Identità 2: Ashley e Mike | Episodio 10 (completo)

Michael Fortunato, better known as Mike, died at the age of 26. His death was announced shortly after the episode aired on television.

Viewers will recognize Mike after his story with Ashley Sawyer, with whom he had been sending messages and fake snapshots for over seven years.

MTV News announced his death, revealing he was suffering from “a pulmonary embolism due to a deep vein thrombosis”.

At the time the news was announced, Ashley told MTV that Mike was “the most honest and loyal person I’ve ever met in my life.”

However, three years later, Ashley’s tragic death was announced.

If you’ve been affected by this story, you can contact American Addiction Centers on (877) 686-7688. Or Talk To Frank on 0300 123 6600 in the UK.



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Ashley Bautista
Ashley Bautista

Ashley is a journalism graduate from Kingston University, currently writing for HITC, Reality Titbit and The Focus. She loves to travel and learn new languages and cultures. She also has an interest in celebrity news and the entertainment world. When she’s not writing, she’s on social media, watching K-dramas or shopping.

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