The news that Power Rangers legend Jason David Frank had died last month hit fans of the franchise hard. However, the tabloids have since churned out endless attention-grabbing headlines in an attempt to piece together what happened on the night the 49-year-old took his own life.
Now, the late actor's wife, Tammie Frank, has set the record straight in an interview with PEOPLE (via SFFGazette.com). She explains that a number of incorrect assumptions about their relationship have been made in the press and, while it's true that Jason died by suicide, that was reported without confirmation following his passing.
"It has shocked and saddened me beyond belief to see that the media has turned my family's tragedy into a tall tale," she starts. "Since Jason's death, I have been harassed online and can no longer stand to watch my husband's good name slandered."
"I loved my husband, and we were trying to work through our problems. His death comes as much a shock to me as anyone else. The truth is, I had no idea that Jason was thinking of ending things. Yes, he had struggled with mental health issues and depression before, but I could never predict what would happen that night."
Tammie explains that they had gone away for a fun weekend getaway in order to reconcile after getting back together six weeks prior following a brief separation. They chose to stay in different rooms due to Jason's snoring, and that any noise people claim to have heard was "us enjoying the weekend and having some fun - not arguing or fighting."
"We danced and stayed out at the event until the bar closed. When we got back to the hotel, Jason and I were having a heartfelt and emotional talk in his room," she recalls. "To help Jason relax and sober up before turning down to sleep, I went downstairs to get us snacks from the lobby. I must've been gone no more than 10 minutes."
"I went back upstairs and began knocking on the door to no answer. I knocked repeatedly and kept calling for his name to open the door. I don't know if the hotel staff or a guest called the police, but after I was taken downstairs by the police, they were able to open the door and found that Jason took his life."
She concluded by confirming that the loss of her daughter, Shayla, contributed to their marital issues and Jason's own struggles with his mental health, so it's a sad situation all around.
The actor, best known for playing the Green/White Ranger, Tommy Oliver, in the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers show, was a hit on the convention circuit and returned to reprise that role on a number of occasions, despite only initially being eyed for a relatively small role in the franchise. His impact was that big. Our thoughts once again go out to his family at this time.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.