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Celebrity death & fan grief (CN: death, depression)


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#1 Zeppelina

Posted 27 January 2020 - 11:09 AM

Kobe Bryant's death has knocked me for six a bit, despite not being a fan (I was last really into the NBA about 25 years ago). There's a huge outpouring/sharing of grief & shock on twitter at the moment, from people who knew him of course, but also fans who are devastated.

It's made me think about my own response to Michael Hutchence's death. I grieved for months and months, and ended up quite depressed - but very much on my own. At the time I felt like there was something wrong with me - how could I feel so strongly for someone I didn't know? I actually felt too ashamed to admit it to anyone irl. My parents knew, but told me I was being ridiculous. The internet was around, but only barely (in my life, anyway) so I didn't have anyone who might understand to share the feelings with.

I'm wondering - does social media (and 24/7 media in general) make it easier for fans these days, because there are so many spaces to find people who feel the same way? Or alternatively, does that just make it harder because you are confronted with it day and night, and it's easier to ruminate on it when you're surrounded by others doing the same thing? (I feel like it could have been helpful for me, but maybe not if it meant I obsessed about it even more than I was doing at the time?)

#2 Moo-me

Posted 27 January 2020 - 11:15 AM

I’m surprised by how sad and shocked I am too. I feel so devastated for his wife and three other children.

#3 #YKG

Posted 27 January 2020 - 11:15 AM

I think social media makes it easier for people to express sadness over events whether it’s a celebrity death, natural disaster etc. while some close to you will roll their eyes and dismiss your feelings, social media will validate that what you feel is normal.

TBH I cried when I read grumpy cat died, didn’t follow him on social media but for some reason it got me.

#4 SummerStar

Posted 27 January 2020 - 11:23 AM

I'm not really into basketball so wouldn't say I'm a fan, but my husband is very much a fan and always has been. I am very devastated by it, I'm surprised how upset I am by it.

#5 Avocadotree

Posted 27 January 2020 - 11:48 AM

I find it surprising, this collective outpouring of grief on social media that eulogises someone as being so awesome.  Sure, great basketballer , apparently great family man but no mention of his extramarital affair resulting in a sexual assault allegation.  I just find it interesting as i have been on twitter, insta and it is all over there.  I just find it hard to fathom.  

But to the OP’s point, I think the internet is a place to “gather” and have your grief shared by others and therefore maybe find comfort, so in that respect it can be really helpful.

Side note, the grief his wife must be feeling at having her husband and daughter killed so suddenly would be hard to comprehend.


ETA , sorry meant to say the death was all over my socials but not one mention on there about the affair/rape allegations .

Edited by Avocadotree, 27 January 2020 - 12:36 PM.


#6 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 27 January 2020 - 12:32 PM

I'm not into basketball, but I did know his name - so I was a bit saddened / surprised  when I saw it in my morning scroll of online news- I can't say I actually 'felt' anything though.  

But then the first thing on my FB was about the rape allegations, and as Avocadotree said - the outpouring of grief seems to overshadow any wrong-doings.  

I feel for his wife and children - it's tragic for them.  But I also feel for the woman who alleged that he raped her - the way his fans attacked her was also tragic.  

I hate the use of the words like 'superstar' and 'hero' for a person like him.

I think it's great that the internet gives people an outlet to support each other in times of saddness and grief, like the bush fires.  But I also hate that it is a platform that is so often used to silence and punish people that don't deserve it.

#7 Crombek

Posted 27 January 2020 - 12:53 PM

I'm no more saddened by his death than any other adult stranger. I *have* been massively eye-rolling at the articles full of every.single. sporting moment he had basically from birth, with a single throwaway line - oh his daughter was also killed.

I am grieving for a 13 year old who was taken before she even lived.

#8 Hands Up

Posted 27 January 2020 - 01:06 PM

I’d never heard of him.

I always pause when I hear of someone taken too early, regardless of whether they are are a celebrity or not, but I find the stories of “normal” people dying sadder. Their families may struggle to keep their heads above water financially, might have access to less resources.

I’m pretty immune to the celebrity culture though. It’s not my thing at all. And I find the strong reactions to people they’ve never met (such as in the wake of Diana’s death) confusing.

#9 Oriental lily

Posted 27 January 2020 - 01:10 PM

I feel for his wife for sure .

I am once again struck on how fame fortune  and success seems to lead to premature deaths so often .

my ordinary life seems more appealing .

#10 Backtoschoolchef

Posted 27 January 2020 - 01:19 PM

Very sorry for KB's family.

There was a huge outpouring of grief for Kurt Cobain prior to SM being around.  Obviously also for people like Lady Di.

I think the nature of the death also is going to play into how people feel - if it was a sudden unexpected loss then its more shocking than if somebody dies of old age.

#11 But seriously

Posted 27 January 2020 - 01:43 PM

I find fan depression and grief a bit strange - and there are a lots of people I would consider myself a fan of. But this deep seated grief - no, I don't really get it.

THis is very sad, mainly because his 13 year old died as well and that would be double devastating for his wife and other children. And while I dont know him at all - I have never seen anything to suggest he wasnt a decent human being in comparison to some other celebs and sports stars,.

#12 Oriental lily

Posted 27 January 2020 - 01:45 PM

He settled a rape accusation out of court with pretty convincing evidence .

plus he was a serial adulterer .

#13 MooGuru

Posted 27 January 2020 - 02:01 PM

I think the celebrity deaths that have hit the hardest are probably where there's a link to them in my life somehow.
Like Princess Di hit me hard because I'm close in age to Harry and William and I think it made me confront the possibility of my parents dying suddenly (up until then everyone I knew who had died had been sick or old).
I remember when Michael Hutchence died... long story but it's linked with the death of a friend so hearing ab inxs song will make me incredibly sad because I think of Michael but more importantly my friend dying.

Eta for others there's a shock when hearing the news because it's generally sad when someone dies and there are people who are really hurting as a result.  But I don't hold onto it.

Edited by MooGuru, 27 January 2020 - 02:03 PM.


#14 Soontobegran

Posted 27 January 2020 - 02:10 PM

View PostOriental lily, on 27 January 2020 - 01:45 PM, said:

plus he was a serial adulterer .


How do you know this ? TMZ?

Edited by Soontobegran, 27 January 2020 - 02:16 PM.


#15 Oriental lily

Posted 27 January 2020 - 02:23 PM

No he has has admitted himself , it was part of his defence his rape accusation ( I am an adulterer but not a rapist ).

#16 Kaz83

Posted 27 January 2020 - 02:24 PM

View PostHands Up, on 27 January 2020 - 01:06 PM, said:

I’d never heard of him.

I always pause when I hear of someone taken too early, regardless of whether they are are a celebrity or not, but I find the stories of “normal” people dying sadder. Their families may struggle to keep their heads above water financially, might have access to less resources.

I’m pretty immune to the celebrity culture though. It’s not my thing at all. And I find the strong reactions to people they’ve never met (such as in the wake of Diana’s death) confusing.

Im sure in most cases it is sad when somebody dies, famous or not. However if there was a news report saying Aunt Doris died, it wouldnt get the same coverage as a 'famous' person as less people knew Aunt Doris. It would still be sad for Aunt Doris's family and friends but people that didnt know her aren't going to give it much of a thought.

#17 Soontobegran

Posted 27 January 2020 - 02:41 PM

View PostOriental lily, on 27 January 2020 - 02:23 PM, said:

No he has has admitted himself , it was part of his defence his rape accusation ( I am an adulterer but not a rapist ).


Yes, he had sexual relations with this woman.
That does not mean he is a serial adulterer. There is absolutely nothing suggesting this.
He separated from his wife at this time but they reunited and have been married 19 years.


He is also a great Philanthropist who has spent his playing and retired days supporting very many charities that specialised in disengaged youth.

I think trying to demonise him based on hearsay is a little off.

#18 Oriental lily

Posted 27 January 2020 - 03:14 PM

Maybe I know a little bit more on the case than you . Like this so called consensual sex led to her needing corrective surgery on her vagina .

jimmy Saville is one of the biggest philanthropists in uk history .

your point is ?

#19 Soontobegran

Posted 27 January 2020 - 03:17 PM

I don't know, this thread has me thinking but as far as I am concerned who people grieve for and how they grieve should be off the table for comments from anyone else.
We all feel things differently, none right, none wrong. If it makes people feel better to outwardly pour their hearts out then it is not wrong and if it makes other people uncomfortable then so be it.

Unless of course the person is a George Pell, Charles Manson or any number of horrific child molesters or murderers when I would struggle to find a redeeming feature that deserves my grief.

View PostOriental lily, on 27 January 2020 - 03:14 PM, said:

Maybe I know a little bit more on the case than you . Like this so called consensual sex led to her needing corrective surgery on her vagina .

jimmy Saville is one of the biggest philanthropists in uk history .

your point is ?

Because Jimmy Savile was not Kobe Bryant. There is in no way the suggestion of that type of abuse aimed at Kobe at all.

Edited by Soontobegran, 27 January 2020 - 03:22 PM.


#20 Oriental lily

Posted 27 January 2020 - 03:22 PM

Hearsay ? A medical report is hearsay ?

Or are you saying Jimmy Saville accusation is also hearsay because unfortunately you can’t convict the dead ?

#21 Soontobegran

Posted 27 January 2020 - 03:30 PM

View PostOriental lily, on 27 January 2020 - 03:22 PM, said:

Hearsay ? A medical report is hearsay ?

Or are you saying Jimmy Saville accusation is also hearsay because unfortunately you can’t convict the dead ?

Don't be ridiculous.
There are countless accusations regarding Jimmy Savile.

I am addressing your accusation regarding his serial adultery, I am not denying nor condoning his adultery but if you are going to claim it you need to back it up.

#22 Oriental lily

Posted 27 January 2020 - 03:40 PM

Well since adultery is not a crime there is only going to be what people say happened . Lots of people saying they had an affair with him .

As we know rich celebrities always have ways of silencing people . Money or threats .

lots of celebrities don’t have these accusations so if their is smoke....

#23 Backtoschoolchef

Posted 27 January 2020 - 03:52 PM

The celebrity thing - I guess death of a young celebrity shows that we are all immortal, no matter how rich, famous, successful etc we may be.

#24 steppy

Posted 27 January 2020 - 04:06 PM

I have such little concern over this death that so far this is the only thing I've read about it. Basketball is a sport I don't give two figs about, it's heroes even less so.

But on celebrity deaths, I think people connect with celebrities, rightly or wrongly, and feel like they know them, when they really don't.

Also, I think it's easy to whip people up to any emotion really. Otherwise Donald Trump wouldn't be President anymore. He just keeps repeating the same things until people believe him. In the same way the paper says this death is a tragedy again and again until people really believe it's a tragedy - not only for the people who knew them, but for everyone.

It's not a tragedy for the vast majority of people on earth.

#25 Soontobegran

Posted 27 January 2020 - 04:07 PM

View PostOriental lily, on 27 January 2020 - 03:40 PM, said:

Well since adultery is not a crime there is only going to be what people say happened . Lots of people saying they had an affair with him .

As we know rich celebrities always have ways of silencing people . Money or threats .

lots of celebrities don’t have these accusations so if their is smoke....

It has been nearly 17 years since his charges and his wife filing for divorce for adultery.
It is still hearsay that he has been a serial adulterer in the time since their reconciliation.

Nobody thinks it's cool what he did but you know what......he has worked hard to clean up his act.

It is a moot point anyway.......people are allowed to express their grief however they want to.




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