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Big Brother UK 's Nikki Grahame Dead at 38: She 'Made Millions of Us Laugh During Her Happier Days'

Glenn Garner
·2 min read

Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Big Brother UK alum Nikki Grahame has died. She was 38.

The reality TV star died Friday morning, according to Deadline. The cause of death is currently unknown. "Please respect the privacy of Nikki's friends and family at this tragic and difficult time," her representative said in a statement.

A rep for Grahame did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Grahame, who was previously open about her struggles with anorexia nervosa in her autobiographical books Dying to Be Thin (2009) and Fragile (2012), was recently in treatment for an eating disorder, and friends started a GoFundMe for her last month.

"She has been battling for most of her life and as you can see, Nikki is now in a very bad way so we need to do something quickly," friends Carly Cunningham and Leon Dee wrote in the GoFundMe description.

Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

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Can Nguyen/Shutterstock

"At the moment, Nikki constantly feels weak and is struggling on a day to day basis," said Cunningham and Dee, who are establishing an organization to support people with anorexia, where they will donate the £69,000 raised so far.

"It breaks our hearts to know that someone who is so precious was taken from us at such a young age," Dee wrote in an update after Grahame's death. "Nikki not only touched the lives of millions of people, but also her friends and family who will miss her immensely."

Grahame came in fifth place during season seven of Big Brother UK in 2006, before leading her own reality series Princess Nikki. She was also the first runner-up on Ultimate Big Brother in 2010.

Big Brother UK host Davina McCall paid tribute to Grahame on Twitter. "I am so desperately sad to hear about Nikki Graham x my thoughts are with her friends and family xx she really was the funniest, most bubbly sweetest girl x," she wrote.

If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237 or go to NationalEatingDisorders.org.