The family of Ian Thorpe’s former long-term boyfriend Ryan Channing have vowed to seek answers following the successful businessman’s sudden death in Bali at the age of 32.
Channing, a model, lawyer and skincare brand creator from Perth, Western Australia, was rushed to a local hospital on Sunday, where he later died.
He was based in Australia but regularly flew to the Indonesian holiday isle and Los Angeles for business.
Channing shared a close bond with his younger brother Jake, who confirmed the shock death of his ‘beautiful big brother’ in an emotional tribute on Wednesday.
He ended the post stressing that Ryan’s death wasn’t Covid-related after he recently contracted contracted the virus.
‘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,’ Jake wrote.
‘As we seek answers and try 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.’
Jake Channing (left) has confirmed the shock passing of his beloved brother Ryan (right)
Ian Thorpe’s (right) ex-boyfriend Ryan Channing (left) has died suddenly while in Bali
Ryan Channing’s shattered family have vowed to seek answers of his shock death
Their Perth-based sister Charis wrote: ‘Saying goodbye to you on Sunday was the hardest thing my family and I have ever had to do. 32 years young, you’re gone too soon.
‘As we seek answers and try come to terms with the heartbreaking loss of my brother, we ask for your prayers, support and privacy.
‘I know you will be looking down on us and we love you lots.’
Charis also shared the tribute on her Instagram stories with the caption ‘Heartbroken’.
A friend told News Corp that Channing, a successful businessman, had been ‘battling health issues’ for some time.
‘Everyone is distraught,’ one close friend said.
‘It is just so sad and everyone is shocked.’
Channing was the first long term boyfriend of former Olympic swimming champion Thorpe after coming out as gay.
The pair were in an on-again, off-again relationship for four years until they split for good in 2019.
A friend said that Channing had been ‘battling health issues’ for some time. Pictured right is his final post taken from hospital when he had Covid
Thorpe and Channing both advocated for equality and gay marriage in Australia
Charis Channing (left) says she’s heartbroken over the loss of her brother Ryan (right)
Channing’s last Instagram post was a photo from Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital eight weeks ago after testing positive to the virus.
‘Covid got me GEWD (good)’, he told his 21,000 followers.
However, it’s not clear whether the virus or its after effects may have played any role in his sudden death.
A representative for Thorpe said his thoughts were with Ryan’s family.
Channing was most recently running a skincare company The Blaq Group, which he founded and owns brands Blaq, Flight Mode and Generation Skin.
‘Generating millions of annual unit sales in both Australia and internationally across his three brands, Ryan has earnt his reputation as one of Australia’s most influential ecommerce entrepreneurs,’ his LinkedIn bio states.
Last July he revealed he was filming a pilot for a new reality show on Netflix in Los Angeles, called The Skintrepreneurs, which would follow his business activities.
Channing was a model who spent time living and working abroad in New York, Paris and Milan before going to university to study commerce, marketing, intellectual property and international law.
He said his time in the modelling industry gave him an eye opening insight into the beauty industry and what consumers want in a beauty product.
Jake Channing (right) said his devastated family is seek answers and try come to terms with the heartbreaking loss of his beautiful big brother Ryan (left)
Channing was Thorpe’s first official boyfriend after coming out as gay in an interview with Michael Parkinson following years of speculation
Channing and the swimming champ were together on and off for four years before calling it quits in mid-June
Channing has worked as a lawyer and model, and owned his own skincare brand
LIFE AND TIMES OF RYAN CHANNING
2015: Ryan Channing starts dating Australian Olympic champion Ian Thorpe
In an interview from 2016, Channing described how easy it was for him to come out to his parents.
‘I was actually very lucky with my experience as I never really had to come out,’ he told Guys Like U.
‘I used to bring my gay friends over to our family home and after a while my mum started to notice that my friends were gay and one day she asked me if I was like them.
‘I have to admit, I was a slightly anxious about the question, but when she asked I simply said ”yes”.’
2015-2017: Channing works as a lawyer in both Sydney and Paris
November, 2016: Channing stars his own skincare company Blaq before founding The Blaq Group in 2018
He now sells gender-neutral products made from natural ingredients all over the world
Early 2019: Thorpe and Channing reveal they are hoping to have a baby through a surrogate in the US
June, 2019: Channing reveals the pair have split. He was Thorpe’s first boyfriend after he came out in an interview in 2014
2021: Channing comes in at 32 on Australia’s Top 100 Young Entrepreneurs list
May, 2022: Friends confirm Channing has passed away in Bali
He was best known to most Australians for his relationship with Thorpe, one of the country’s greatest ever Olympians.
At one point in their relationship, Channing and Thorpe were actively considering having a child via surrogacy.
When discussing their plans to have a baby in 2019, Channing told Daily Mail Australia: ‘Becoming parents is something that Ian and myself would love to make happen.
‘Unfortunately the laws in Australia are difficult for same sex males in regards to surrogacy – California state law has really progressed in this space which makes it the best option legally.
‘Something I would love to see progress further in Australia so same sex couples don’t have to travel abroad to achieve their family goals.’
Channing founded his skincare business in 2018, aiming to provide gender-neutral products that were all Australian-made and natural.
He was dubbed one of Australia’s most influential ecommerce entrepreneurs when he took his business international to the US and Europe.
Channing was a successful businessman and revealed last year he was working on a pilot for a new reality TV show
In an interview with Dynamic Business in 2020, Channing said his work as a model taught him the importance of self care.
‘I wanted the products to be approachable for anyone, to be inclusive of both genders as we all face the same skin-concern in one way or another,’ he said.
He credited his success to ‘pure hustle and not giving up because one door said no’.
A year after splitting with Thorpe, Channing revealed in June, 2020 he was engaged to engineer Leevon Baptiste.
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Ryan Channing (pictured) was on the Australia’s Top 100 Young Entrepreneurs list in 2021