Ryan Channing, thirty-two year old skincare entrepreneur and former boyfriend of Australian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe, died suddenly in Bali.

According to reports in the media, Ryan was admitted to a local hospital in the Indonesian island of Kuta on May 8 and passed way later that night. 

To family and friends, seeing as the news headlines beat my whole family to posting about this unfortunate time in our lives, it’s with a heavy heart I announce that my brother Ryan has recently passed away on Sunday the 8th of May at 32 years of age,” Ryan’s brother Jake posted on Instagram.

Family Seeks Answers

Ryan Channing. Image: Instagram

“As we seek answers and try to come to terms with the heartbreaking loss of my beautiful big brother, we ask for your prayers, support and privacy, he will be forever loved, never forgotten and forever young. To my big brother, I love you, I’ll see you one day soon you’ll be missed more than you know,” said Jake. 

Contrary to media reports, Jake clarified that Ryan’s death “wasn’t covid related”. Ryan’s last post in March on Instagram said that he was diagnosed with COVID and was hospitalised at St Vincent’s  hospital in Sydney. “Covid got me GEWD. Thanks to the amazing nurses at  St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney,” Ryan had posted.

A friend told News Corp that Ryan had been “battling health issues”. 

Ryan and Ian Thorpe Campaigned For Marriage Equality

Ian Thorpe (right) and Ryan Channing were in a relationship between 2015 and 2019.

Ryan, then a law student, had started dating dated Thorpe in 2015. The couple were together from 2015 to 2019 and had campaigned jointly during the national marriage equality vote in 2017. In 2019, the pair confirmed to the media that they were considering having a child, but split later that year. 

Ryan worked as a model before before he founded the Australia-based skincare and beauty company The Blaq Group in 2016. In July 2021, Ryan told the Daily Mail Australia, that he was filming a pilot for a new Netflix reality show in Los Angeles, called The Skintrepreneurs, that would follow the journey of his beauty company, which he said was the largest skincare exporter in Australia. 


If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

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