Inside the life and death of the first transgender reality star Miriam Rivera (2024)

Inside the life and death of the first transgender reality star Miriam Rivera (1)
  • TV
  • Reality


The late star shot to fame with her own Sky1 TV show

  • Joanne Kavanagh, Showbiz Reporter

BACK in the early noughties Miriam Rivera appeared to have it all, as the world’s first transgender reality star.

However in 2019 tragedy struck when the star was found dead at her home in Mexico.


Who was Miriam Rivera?

Born in Mexico in 1981, Miriam Rivera found fame as a reality show starin the early noughties.

During her life she was also an activist and spokesmodel for the transgender community.

Although she identified as a woman, Miriam said she never wanted gender reassignment surgery as she had “concerns” about complications.

The reality star told the press in 2003 that she “loved” the way she was and that she was “enjoying life”.

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How did Miriam Rivera die?

Miriam was found dead at her home in Sonora, Mexico, on February 5, 2019.

Her husband told Daily Mail Australia at the time; "On the morning of February 5, Miriam called me [in New York] from Mexico, telling me she was feeling sick and vomiting blood, so I told her to get to the hospital.

"She called me again before leaving the hospital at 12pm and that was the last time we spoke."

Miriam was found hanged in her mother’s apartment with her cause of death ruled as suicide.

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She was just 38-years-old when she died.

In a tragic twist, Miriam was found dead in exactly the same spot as her eldest brother Luis had passed away 13 years before.


Who was Miriam Rivera married to?

During her life, Miriam was married once.

She was wed to husband Daniel Cuervo, who she lived with in New York City.

It’s understood her husband was the last person to talk to her before she died.


What show was Miriam Rivera on?

Miriam shot to fame when she was just 21, on Sky1 reality show There’s Something About Miriam.

Hosted by Tim Vincent, the series saw six straight British males battling for the attention of the beautiful glamour model.

But in a dramatic twist in the final episode, Miriam revealed her identity as a transgender woman.

This came as a surprise to the contestants, who all sued producer Endemol for conspiracy to commit sexual assault, defamation and personal injury.

They all claimed they had suffered “psychological and emotional damage” and eventually settled for an undisclosed fee.

One report suggested they’d been paid as much as £500K each.

The winner, Tom Rooke, received £10,000 in prize money and was supposed to go on a romantic holiday with Miriam.

But he didn’t follow through with the trip.

Due to the reality show being so controversial, and the lawsuits that followed, Sky1 pulled it from their channel and it has never been allowed to be shown again.

After There's Something About Miriam, the reality star appeared as a guest on Big Brother Australia in 2004.

How to watch Miriam: Death of a Reality Star?

Miriam: Death of a Reality Star kicks off at 9pm on Channel 4 on April 29, 2024.

The series will run across three consecutive evenings and will conclude on May 1, 2024.


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Channel 4 said: “Using Miriam’s own voice and words throughout, the series will restore Miriam as the star of her own story - a trans trailblazer who remains an icon for many in the transgender community.”

Viewers can also watch the series on the Channel 4 streaming site once it has aired.

You're Not Alone

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide

It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is whyThe Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others…You’re Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

Inside the life and death of the first transgender reality star Miriam Rivera (2024)


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