Reality TV Star Lived High-Flying Life
By PopEater / Wire Services Posted Aug 25th 2009 12:01PM
Ryan Jenkins had it made. He was a young, high-flying Canadian real estate developer with a private-school education, a prominent, wealthy father and series of pretty ex-girlfriends.
Jenkins left Canada in March and became a reality TV star, a recent contestant on VH1 reality show "Megan Wants a Millionaire," in which wealthy young men tried to win over a materialistic blonde.
Just months later, Jenkins was found hanging from a belt in a seedy Canadian hotel, dead from an apparent suicide. He was wanted for murder in the gruesome death and mutilation of his ex-wife, Jasmine Fiore, a former model who he met after taping the reality show,
An autopsy was conducted in British Columbia on Monday, and preliminary results appeared to confirm Jenkins' death was a suicide.
"The findings continue to be consistent with a self-hanging," said Jeff Dolan of the B.C. Coroners Service.
"We are awaiting toxicology results, but we're not expecting our findings to change."
Family, friends and an ex-fiancee said they were shocked by the allegations, but court records show Jenkins had a violent past with women.
He was charged in June in Clark County, Nevada, with a misdemeanor count of "battery constituting domestic violence" for allegedly hitting Fiore in the arm and was set to be tried in December, court records show.
In his hometown of Calgary, Jenkins had been sentenced to 15 months probation in January 2007 on an unspecified assault charge of his then ex-girlfriend.
The judge also ordered counseling for anger management, domestic violence and sexual addiction, Alain Hepner, Jenkins' attorney, told The Associated Press. Hepner said there was also a civil restraining order.
Jenkins' mother, who lives in Vancouver, refuses to accept he killed Fiore. Nada Jenkins said in a brief telephone interview Monday that she's sure the evidence will eventually prove his innocence.
"He was good, he's kind and we need to clear his name," she said, weeping.
Jenkins grew up in Calgary, where his father Dan Jenkins is a prominent architect and attended St. Michaels University school in Victoria, British Columbia.
The elder Jenkins also owns a multimillion resort property on the Honduran island of Roatan.
The father and son worked together on condo projects, and he was the president of a development company in which he managed, marketed and sold 20 units as well as designed more than 55, his resume said.
Ryan Jenkins also worked as a sales consultant for an investment firm specializing in commercial real estate in Calgary, and had a commercial pilots license, his resume said.
Jenkins met his future bride at a Las Vegas casino, shortly after he finished taping the VH1 program, and they married a few weeks later. The couple separated shortly afterward, but had reportedly recently reconciled.
At the time, she worked mainly in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, including gigs where she was bodypainted at parties.
Jenkins, 32, had been seen this summer with Fiore in a swanky, new apartment building in central Los Angeles where she occupied a penthouse. In a video he posted Aug. 9 on MySpace Jenkins is heard saying, "God, I love my life! And I love my wife" as she gyrates in a bikini.
He then turned the camera on himself, bright white teeth glinting from a tanned face as he crowed, "Luckiest guy in the world! Right here!"
On Aug. 15, Fiore's dismembered body was found in a trash bin in Buena Park, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles. Her teeth had been pulled out and her fingers cut off, apparently to impede her identification. Investigators identified her by the serial numbers on her breast implants, prosecutors said.
Last week, actress, model and television host Paulina Chmielecka said she was engaged to Jenkins for 2 1/2 years and never saw a violent side.
"The guy was a great guy, as far as I knew he was very happy," she told the Canadian TV network CTV. "In our relationship, we had our fights - everyone does - but I would never say, 'Well, he could have murdered someone.' There's no way."
On his bio for the show, Jenkins claimed to be someone who turns "player girls" into "princesses" and said he only cheated on an ex-girlfriend when he wanted to break up with her. His net worth was given as $2.5 million.
At least one actor who appeared on "Millionaire" with Jenkins at a mansion in the Hollywood Hills was shocked by the developments and remembered a suave bachelor who grew in confidence as taping progressed.
Jenkins earned the nickname "Smooth Operator" because of "his cheeky cockiness. And I mean that in a friendly way," said Rob Locke, who played the host, a butler named Niles.
"We were all under the impression that he was single. Then I saw on Facebook that he got married and there were photos of him and his wife. My personal observation was, 'Wow, that was quick,'" Locke said.
Dan Jenkins, Ryan's father, told the Edmonton Sun newspaper he remained unconvinced of his son's guilt.
"Ryan was a great guy and I'm not at all convinced he did this crime yet," Jenkins told the Edmonton Sun. "I certainly hope that the California police will continue their investigation into the DNA and all their forensics, and tell us one way or another whether our son was involved with this or not."
Fiore's mother said her daughter and Jenkins had been fighting after a quickie Las Vegas wedding, and that he was jealous of her ex-boyfriends.
Fiore's ex-fiance tells PEOPLE that he once saw Jenkins "punch her in the arm with enough force to push her into a pool."
"He was desperate to glom onto my daughter because everything my daughter had was for real: She earned her car, she earned her penthouse apartment. Everybody loved this girl, whether they were movie stars or producers or the garbage collectors at the apartment complex," her mother adds.
Jenkins' final days were spent holed up in a seedy, secluded motel in British Columbia's interior. He arrived Thursday with a young woman, who checked them in but didn't stay in the hotel, said Kevin Walker, who manages the Thunderbird Motel in Hope, Alberta.
Adam Curt, 19, a motel employee and Walker's nephew, said Jenkins "looked stressed out," said. "He wouldn't look anybody in the eye."
When they went to the room after he didn't check out they found him dead.
"I cracked the door and there he was, hanging there in front of me, feet touching" the floor, Walker said. "He definitely wanted to die. I smelt death."
Alex Da Silva, a choreographer featured in 'So You Think You Can Dance,' was arrested April 4th. On August 18, he was arrested on a felony warrant charging him with sexually assaulting four of his dancing students.
Jeremy Hainsworth reporting with Rob Gilliesfrom Toronto and Associated Press Writer Gillian Flaccus in Buena Park, California contributed to this report.
2009 AOL LLC. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
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