Tammy Slaton has issued a formal statement.
On a subject she thought she should never cover.
On Saturday, the 1000-Lb Sisters star spoke to People magazine about the death of Caleb Willingham, Slaton’s husband of a few months who passed away this week at age 40.
His cause of death has not yet been announced.
“I’m devastated to share the news of my husband’s passing,” Tammy told People, adding:
“He was my best friend and I loved him dearly.
“When I met Caleb he became my guardian angel and now he really watches over me.
“Our families appreciate everyone’s compassion and ask that you respect our privacy at this time.”
Caleb’s stepmother also confirmed this heartbreaking news to TMZ this morning, while Tammy’s sister-in-law, Amanda Halterman, shared the news on her Facebook page.
“Please whisper a prayer for our family and all of Caleb’s family,” Amanda wrote on Friday.
“Heaven has a good one! I didn’t spend much time with him but the messages he sent helped me through so many dark times.
“I am so grateful for the love he showed my sister and everyone he came into contact with.”
Slaton met Willingham when they were both patients at Ohio rehab in 2021, as they were both being treated for obesity-related issues.
“You know, Tammy saved my life the other day,” Caleb revealed to their fellow patients at Windsor Lane Rehabilitation Center on a March episode of 1000-Lb. sisters.
“I was out of oxygen. I sat hurting her, hurting her, tears streaming down my cheeks, and she got help.
“It meant everything to me because you showed kindness.”
The couple tied the knot in November last year.
“You all knew me as Tammy Slaton, but now you all know me as Ms. Tammy Willingham,” the TLC personality told People at the time.
“I’m married now!”
Tammy added in footage from her reality show:
“When I saw Caleb at the altar, I could see doves and butterflies everywhere before me as if God had opened the clouds and let the sunlight in. It was magical.”
However, just a few months later, Willingham told Facebook friends that the relationship was over.
“I am hurt, angry, confused and alone, even with others around,” he wrote in April. “Thank you for your love, prayer and support.”
According to a report in The Sun, Slaton broke up with Willingham because he held her back and jeopardized the progress she had made in losing weight and getting healthy.
“They broke up because Caleb didn’t follow his diet in rehab,” a Sun insider said this spring, adding:
“They got into a fight about it and he told her he wanted a divorce, but then he tried to come back.
“She wants someone who can be there for her and his health is deteriorating.”
Late Friday night, messages of shock and grief began to flow on social media regarding Willingham’s death.
“I can’t believe I’m posting this but today GOD called my big brother home,” wrote Facebook user I’am Willc, who shared a photo of Willingham in front of a microphone.
“RIP Caleb Willingham aka Killa K aka Double K aka half of the dynamic WWF tag team champions The W Boys aka my biggest supporter in everything I do.
“You will forever be loved and missed. Until we meet again.”
In a self-statement this weekend, TLC said the following:
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Caleb Willingham. Our condolences go out to Tammy, his family and friends at this difficult time.”
We’ll end this sad story on a happy note and pass on what Slaton told Us Weekly of Caleb back in February:
“We wholeheartedly support each other.
“During our weight-loss journeys, if he’s having trouble eating because he’s bored or because he’s an emotional eater, he comes to me and we talk about the situation.
“It’s the same for me and I talk to him. We talk about our problems and why we feel this way. We are true partners.”
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