Ian Thorpe’s late ex Ryan Channing’s family responds to claims about his death in Bali

Ryan Channing (pictured left) used to date former Olympian Ian Thorpe (right), until they split in 2019

Ryan Channing (pictured left) used to date former Olympian Ian Thorpe (right), until they split in 2019

The heartbroken family of Ian Thorpe’s ex-boyfriend, Ryan Channing, reacts to vicious rumors that he had HIV when he died suddenly in Bali.

Channing, 32, was a successful model, lawyer and businessman from Perth before his shock death on the Indonesian holiday island on Sunday.

The only detail his family has confirmed about his death is that it was not the result of Covid, even though he was hospitalized with the virus in Sydney eight weeks ago.

His skincare company, The Blaq Group, confirmed on Thursday that Channing had been struggling with health problems a few months before his death, but the nature of those problems is unknown.

Trolls took to Channing’s Instagram page overnight on Wednesday to spread unverified rumors that he had committed suicide and that he had HIV – a serious illness that affects the immune system.

But Abbey Channing, a young relative of the skincare brand’s creator, hit back, politely asking people not to “make assumptions about someone’s death.”

Ryan Channing (pictured left) used to date former Olympian Ian Thorpe (right), until they split in 2019

Ryan Channing (pictured left) used to date former Olympian Ian Thorpe (right), until they split in 2019

Ryan Channing (pictured left) used to date former Olympian Ian Thorpe (right), until they split in 2019

Abbey Channing (pictured) politely asked people not to speculate about her relative's death

Abbey Channing (pictured) politely asked people not to speculate about her relative's death

Abbey Channing (pictured) politely asked people not to speculate about her relative’s death

One man wrote: ‘You will find that Ryan went to the hospital with Covid.’

‘Classic reaction from an otherwise young, healthy man who is immunocompromised by HIV.’

The young woman replied kindly, “Please don’t make assumptions about someone’s death.”

Another man wrote: ‘Only 32 years old and always the picture of health.’

“Suicide is a terrible thing, mental health financing needs to be improved.”

After someone asked how he knew Channing had committed suicide, Ms Channing wrote again, “Please don’t make assumptions about someone’s death.”

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Ms Channing for comment.

1652320186 403 Ian Thorpes late ex Ryan Channings family responds to claims 3

1652320186 403 Ian Thorpes late ex Ryan Channings family responds to claims 4

After Channing's death on Sunday, people started spreading unverified rumors (pictured)

After Channing's death on Sunday, people started spreading unverified rumors (pictured)

After Channing’s death on Sunday, people started spreading unverified rumors (pictured)

Social media users said Channing (pictured) had HIV and that he died by suicide.  The cause of death has not been disclosed

Social media users said Channing (pictured) had HIV and that he died by suicide.  The cause of death has not been disclosed

Social media users said Channing (pictured) had HIV and that he died by suicide. The cause of death has not been disclosed

His skincare company, The Blaq Group, posted an emotional tribute on Thursday — remembering the 32-year-old for his “fun loving spirit.”

“It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that The Blaq Group founder, Ryan Channing, has passed away at the age of 32.

“Ryan has been struggling with health problems in recent months and died in hospital after suddenly becoming ill while on holiday in Bali on Sunday 9 May.”

“His inspiration led to the creation of highly regarded skincare brands, Flight Mode and Generation Skin, as well as the flagship brand Blaq, which strives to empower equality through its distinctive messages of acceptance and inclusivity.”

The shocking death was announced on Instagram on Wednesday by his younger brother Jake.

“As the headlines are smashing my entire family to post about this unfortunate time in our lives, it is with a heavy heart to announce that my brother Ryan recently passed away on Sunday, May 8 at the age of 32,” Jake wrote. †

Channing's skincare company, the Blaq Group, confirmed that he had delivered health in an emotional tribute

Channing's skincare company, the Blaq Group, confirmed that he had delivered health in an emotional tribute

Channing’s skincare company, the Blaq Group, confirmed that he had delivered health in an emotional tribute

Channing's sister Charis also wrote a tribute and later shared it on her Instagram stories with the caption

Channing's sister Charis also wrote a tribute and later shared it on her Instagram stories with the caption

Channing’s sister Charis also wrote a tribute and later shared it on her Instagram stories with the caption “broken heart” (pictured)

“As we seek answers and deal with the heartbreaking loss of my beautiful big brother, we ask for your prayers, support and privacy, he will be loved forever, never forgotten and forever young.

“To my big brother, I love you, see you soon, you will be missed more than you know.”

Their sister Charis wrote: ‘Saying goodbye to you on Sunday was the hardest thing my family and I have ever had to do. 32 years young, you are gone too soon.

“As we seek answers and come to terms with the heartbreaking loss of my brother, we ask for your prayers, support and privacy.

“I know you look down on us and we love you very much.”

Charis also shared the tribute on her Instagram stories with the caption “Heartbroken.”

Charis Channing (left) says she is heartbroken at the loss of her brother Ryan (right)

Charis Channing (left) says she is heartbroken at the loss of her brother Ryan (right)

Charis Channing (left) says she is heartbroken at the loss of her brother Ryan (right)

Channing (pictured) was a successful model and businessman from Perth

Channing (pictured) was a successful model and businessman from Perth

Channing (pictured) was a successful model and businessman from Perth

A friend told News Corp that Channing, a successful businessman, has been “struggling with health issues” for some time.

“Everyone is distraught,” said a good friend.

“It’s just so sad and everyone is shocked.”

Channing was the first long-term boyfriend of former Olympic swimming champion Thorpe after he came out as gay.

The couple had an on-again, off-again relationship for four years until they broke up for good in 2019.

Channing’s last Instagram post was a photo from St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney eight weeks ago after he tested positive for the virus.

“Covid has given me GEWD (good),” he told his 21,000 followers.

Channing posted a photo of St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney eight weeks ago, saying: 'Covid has given me GEWD (good)' after she tested positive for the virus

Channing posted a photo of Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital eight weeks ago, saying: 'Covid has given me GEWD (good)', after testing positive for the virus

Channing posted a photo of Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital eight weeks ago, saying: ‘Covid has given me GEWD (good)’, after testing positive for the virus

Ryan Channing's shattered family has vowed to seek answers to his shocked death

Ryan Channing's shattered family has vowed to seek answers to his shocked death

Ryan Channing’s shattered family has vowed to seek answers to his shocked death

However, it is not clear whether the virus or its effects played a role in his sudden death.

A Thorpe representative said his thoughts were with Ryan’s family.

Channing most recently ran a skincare company The Blaq Group, which he founded and owns the Blaq, Flight Mode and Generation Skin brands.

“Ryan generates millions of annual unit sales in both Australia and internationally for its three brands and has earned a reputation as one of Australia’s most influential e-commerce entrepreneurs,” reads his LinkedIn bio.

Last July, he revealed that he was filming a pilot for a new reality show on Netflix in Los Angeles called The Skintrepreneurs, which would follow his business activities.

Channing was a model who lived and worked abroad for some time in New York, Paris and Milan before entering university to study commerce, marketing, intellectual property and international law.

Ryan Channing (pictured left with Ian Thorpe) was Ian's first public boyfriend since coming out as gay in an interview with Michael Parkinson in 2014

Ryan Channing (pictured left with Ian Thorpe) was Ian's first public boyfriend since coming out as gay in an interview with Michael Parkinson in 2014

Ryan Channing (pictured left with Ian Thorpe) was Ian’s first public boyfriend since coming out as gay in an interview with Michael Parkinson in 2014

Channing said he and Thorpe (pictured together) broke up because they spent too much time apart

Channing said he and Thorpe (pictured together) broke up because they spent too much time apart

Channing said he and Thorpe (pictured together) broke up because they spent too much time apart

He said his time in the modeling industry gave him a dazzling insight into the beauty industry and what consumers want in a beauty product.

He was best known to most Australians for his relationship with Thorpe, one of the nation’s greatest ever Olympians.

At some point in their relationship, Channing and Thorpe actively considered having a child via surrogacy.

Discussing their plans to have a baby in 2019, Channing told the Daily Mail Australia: “Being a parent is something Ian and I would love to realize.

Jake Channing (left) confirmed the shocking death of his beloved brother Ryan Channing (right)

Jake Channing (left) confirmed the shocking death of his beloved brother Ryan Channing (right)

Jake Channing (left) confirmed the shocking death of his beloved brother Ryan Channing (right)

“Unfortunately, the laws in Australia are difficult for same-sex men regarding surrogacy – California state law has really moved forward in this area, making it the best option legally.

‘Something I’d like to see further in Australia so that same-sex couples don’t have to travel abroad to achieve their family goals.’

Channing founded his skincare company in 2018, with the goal of providing gender neutral products that are all made in Australia and natural.

He was named one of Australia’s most influential e-commerce entrepreneurs as he took his business internationally to the US and Europe.

A year after splitting with Thorpe, Channing revealed in June 2020 that he was engaged to engineer Leevon Baptiste.

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