The parents of a former Bachelorette contestant who turned up dead after disappearing in San Diego this week, took his own life.
Hug, the son of prominent San Diego restauranteurs, battled for the heart of Bachelorette lovely Jillian Harris in 2009 but in his daily life, Julien waged war against a much stronger adversary — depression. The restaurant manager, 35, disappeared Monday and was found in some brush off a local interstate in a remote part of San Bernadino National Forest two days later. Hug suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Bertrand and Denise Hug issued a statement to People.com Friday confirming that Julien had left behind a suicide note.
“In his letter to us he stated that he was suffering from acute depression and he felt it was his only way out,” the statement read.
“While publicly outgoing he was an extremely private person who internalized everything,” The Hugs continued. “We feel it is necessary at this time to address the media as we are devastated by some of the comments that are coming out. Our son meant the world to us and this came as a complete shock. We are beyond devastated and completely distraught…What we saw was his thirst for life with fast cars, motorcycles and his love of skydiving. … What we see now is the immense amount of love that everyone has for him. Anyone close to Julien is receiving an extreme outpouring of concern via text, e-mail and messages. This is an honored tribute to what an amazing person he was and we thank everyone for their love, prayers and continued support.”
Hug’s girlfriend spoke out about his sudden death Friday in an interview with RadarOnline.com. Jennifer Bell said she and Hug shared a condo in San Diego for the past tw years and had even spoken of tying the knot.
“This is beyond painful. We’ve been together for two amazing years,” Bell told Radar. “We were the light of each other’s life. Everyone, I mean everyone loved this man. We lived together in San Diego, in a beautiful condo,” she said. “We talked about getting married in Montauban, France.”
Bell insisted that Bachelorette fans didn’t get to see the real Julien on season 5 of the hit ABC show.
“He was so misunderstood in many ways. People wanted him to be this Bachelorette star. That TV show was not even one percent of who he was,” she explained. “The whole TV stuff he did…that was a small part of him….he went on that show to travel and explore adventure.”
Hug, 35, was eliminated by Bachelorette Jillian on the second episode of the season.
A public funeral is planned for next Friday, Nov. 12. In lieu of flowers, The Hug Family asks well-wishers to send donations to the Julien Hug Foundation, c/o of the The Village Community Presbyterian Church at 6225 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Sante Fe, Calif., 92067.