Entertainer Charo and her family are mourning the unexpected death of her husband, Kjell Rasten, who died by suicide on Monday. He was 78 (not 79, as other outlets have reported).
“Yesterday, Kjell, my husband of forty years and the love of my life, killed himself,” Charo said Tuesday in a statement to The Times. “There are no words to describe what we are feeling now. He was an amazing man, a great husband and the best father I could imagine to our son. He dedicated his life to loving and supporting his family.”
Beverly Hills Police Department officers were called to the couple’s home at about 12:31 p.m., department spokeswoman Elisabeth Albanese told The Times in a statement on Tuesday. They found Rasten, a former television producer who was also Charo’s manager, “with life-threatening injuries,” she said.
“Beverly Hills Police and Fire personnel attempted life-saving measures and transported the victim to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Shortly after 1:00 p.m., the male succumbed to his injuries,” the statement said.
Albanese said the death is believed to be a suicide, but she noted that it is an ongoing investigation and that the Los Angeles County coroner’s office will determine the cause and manner of death.
Charo said in her statement that in recent years Rasten developed Bullous pemphigoid, a rare skin disease, became very depressed and was taking numerous medications, which “became too much for him.”
“None of us had any idea this could happen to such a wonderful, kind and generous man,” she said, urging others who are struggling to seek help.
“Please, if anyone you know and love is suffering from depression or illness, hold them close, tell them you love them with all your heart and that the world is better because they are in it. Get any help you can. Suicide is not the answer,” she said.
The singer and actress and also thanked fans for their “love and concern.” Charo and her late husband appeared on the ABC reality show “Celebrity Wife Swap” in 2015. In 2017, for a Times profile of his wife, Rasten was asked how he kept up with her. “I don’t even try,” he said in jest.
Rasten is survived by his wife and their only child, Shel Rasten.
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