Ricki Lake is bravely opening up about her ex-husband's unfortunate death.
In a candid new interview, the 48-year-old actress sadly revealed her former spouse Christian Evans committed suicide on Saturday, Feb. 11 amid a battle with bipolar disorder.
Ricki was working in London in early February when she received a text message from Christian's sister that he had emailed her what appeared to be a suicide note. "I knew right then that he was gone. Everybody thought he was missing, but I knew," the star told People.
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It is with a heavy heart that I share that my beloved soulmate, Christian Evans has passed. The world didn’t understand this man, but I did. He succumbed to his life long struggle with bipolar disorder. For anyone who has ever lost a family member or friend to mental illness, my heart goes out to you. I am a greater person for having known him and spent the past 6 and a half years of my life with him. He was a man of love and what mends my broken heart today is knowing that he is finally at peace and his spirit is free. Rest in peace, my love
Two days later, Christian was tragically found dead in his car from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. "The struggle was just too much for him. He did the best he could," Ricki said.
"I have to spread the word about recognizing this disorder and getting treatment as soon as possible," Ricki continued. "Christian didn’t want to be labeled as bipolar, but he admitted he was in the note he left. That was him finally owning it. That was him giving me permission to tell his story."
The Hairspray star and Christian began dating in September 2010, got engaged in August 2011, and eloped just eight months later in April 2012. According to Ricki, the jewelry designer disclosed his bipolar disorder diagnosis to her when they first met.
"I felt like the luckiest girl that he chose me. He was the funniest person. He was so charismatic," she said. "He had a lot of self-esteem issues and a lot of demons. But I understood him, and he was someone that I think a lot of people misunderstood."
Ricki's marriage to Christian was her second. The actress was previously hitched to illustrator-bartender Rob Sussman for 10 years from 1994 until 2004. The duo have two sons — Milo Sebastian Sussman, 19, and Owen Tyler Sussman, 15 — together.
"We never fought, we never had an argument. He showed up for my kids," Ricki said of her late love. "He was this quiet force that was just all about love and goodness and wanting to help people."
Two years after their wedding, Ricki filed for divorce from Christian in 2015. Despite their split, the two continued to have a relationship and even moved back in together. "He wasn’t stable, and he was so fragile," Ricki said. "But I was still in love with him, so there was something romantic about it. I wanted to save him."