Rebekah took part in the 10th series of the reality show in 2009, when it still aired on Channel 4, making it through to the live final.
A statement on her Twitter account on the early hours of Friday morning (12 January) announced the tragic news that she had died “unexpectedly” two days earlier.
Rebekah Shelton” alt=”Rebekah Shelton” data-credit=”Instagram” data-portal-copyright=”Instagram” data-provider=”Other” data-provider-asset-id=”206023961″ data-has-syndication-rights=”false”>
The post said: “We’re sorry to inform everyone of the sad news that our wonderful and lovely Rebekah died unexpectedly on Wednesday night.
“We ask that you respect the family’s privacy at this time.”
We’re sorry to inform everyone of the sad news that our wonderful and lovely Rebekah died unexpectedly on Wednesday night. We ask that you respect the family’s privacy at this time.
— Rebekah Shelton (@MissRShelton) January 12, 2018
‘Big Brother’ fans will best remember Brazil-born Rebekah – who took part in the show under her former name, Rodrigo Lopes – for her unabashed love of the Queen, as well as the UK in general, and brief romance with fellow housemate Charlie Drummond.
Three years after leaving the house, Rebekah came out as transgender in 2012, and has since made guest spots on spin-off show ‘Big Brother’s Bit On The Side’, as well as an appearance on ‘Judge Rinder’ which aired last year.
In an interview with Heat magazine, she disclosed that when she changed her name to Rebekah, she chose “Shelton” as a surname after the family she stayed with when she first moved to the UK.
In more recent years, Rebekah has had a number of health problems, falling into a coma in 2014 after she was diagnosed with a brain tumour, though she later made a recovery.