Ian Thorpe’s ex-boyfriend Ryan Channing dies suddenly in Bali aged 32


Ryan Channing and Ian Thorpe.
Ryan Channing has died in Bali, with friends sharing their devastation

Ryan Channing, the former boyfriend of Australian Olympic icon Ian Thorpe, has died suddenly in Bali aged 32.

According to reports, Channing – a model, lawyer and skincare entrepreneur – died after he was rushed to Bali’s BIMC Hospital on Sunday. His cause of death is unknown.

His brother Jake confirmed the news in a statement paying tribute to his ‘beautiful big brother’.

He wrote: ‘Seeing as the news headlines beat my whole family to posting about this unfortunate time in our lives, it’s with a heavy heart I announce that my brother Ryan has recently passed away on Sunday the 8th of May at 32 years of age.

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

‘To my big brother, I love you, I’ll see you one day soon you’ll be missed more than you know.’


Mandatory Credit: Photo by DAN HIMBRECHTS/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9946019t) Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe (R) and partner Ryan Channing (L) are seen in the crowd during the Wheelchair Basketball Final at the Invictus Games in Sydney, Australia, 27 October 2018. The Sydney Invictus Games, at which wounded or sick armed services personnel and veterans will compete, will run from 20 to 27 October. The 2018 Sydney Invictus Games, Australia - 27 Oct 2018
Channing was Thorpe’s first official boyfriend (Picture: DAN HIMBRECHTS/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Jake Channing
Channing’s heartbroken brother Jake confirmed the news (Picture: ryanchanning/Instagram )

According to a friend, Channing had been ‘battling health issues’ for some time, adding to the Daily Telegraph: ‘Everyone is distraught.

‘It is just so sad and everyone is shocked.’

Thorpe, 39 – who dated Channing for four years until their split in 2019, and was Thorpe’s first public boyfriend after he came out as gay – is yet to address the news publicly, however, a representative for the swimmer said his ‘thoughts are with Ryan’s family’.


Ryan Channing and Ian Thorpe.
Channing, here with Thorpe in 2018, once spoke of the pair’s hope to have a child together (Picture: Don Arnold/WireImage)

Channing was most known as being the partner of the Olympic champion and revealed at one point the pair were considering having a child through surrogacy.

Before their split in 2019, Channing told Daily Mail Australia: ‘Becoming parents is something that Ian and myself would love to make happen.

‘Unfortunately the laws in Australia are difficult for same sex males in regards to surrogacy – California state law has really progressed in this space which makes it the best option legally.

‘Something I would love to see progress further in Australia so same sex couples don’t have to travel abroad to achieve their family goals.’

Following their split Channing – who, a year after splitting with Thorpe, revealed he was engaged to engineer Leevon Baptiste – insisted all had been ‘amicable’ and they ‘stayed friends’.

The model and businessman’s last post on Instagram revealed he had been diagnosed and hospitalised with Covid at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital, however his brother confirmed his death wasn’t related.

In the March 9 post, Channing was seen in a hoodie and posting in a facemask while flashing a peace sign to the camera.

He captioned the photo, taken in what appeared to be a hospital bathroom: ‘Covid got me GEWD. 🦠 Thanks to the amazing nurses at @stvincentshospitalsydney 🙏’

Channing ran skincare company The Blaq Group, which he founded, and recently revealed he was shooting a series.

In July Channing said he was filming a pilot for a new Netflix reality show in Los Angeles, called The Skintrepreneurs.

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