At the time of his death, the brother of reality TV star Lisa Vanderpump was dating a twice-divorced former model and dancer. According to a post on his Facebook page, Mark Vanderpump had been in a relationship with Gemma Walker since August 2016. On April 30, Vanderpump was found dead in his home in Gloucestershire, England. He was 59 years old and is survived by his two sons.
The Daily Mail reports that Lisa Vanderpump is “devastated” after the death of her brother. In a statement to the newspaper, Lisa Vanderpump said, “This has come as a shock to us all. My brother and I had connected the day before this tragedy and I was completely unprepared for this. He was my only sibling and I am shocked and saddened by his passing. I am trying to be supportive to his two young sons that he has left behind, and help them get through this tragedy. We appreciate your consideration in this private and extremely difficult family time.” It’s thought that Vanderpump suffered a drug overdose.
Walker, who was formerly known as a “High Street Honey,” in men’s magazine FHM, has been married twice with two children.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Vanderpump & Walker’s Relationship Began When Her Husband Gave Them His Blessing Due to Her Depression
Vanderpump and Walker were involved in a scandal in the United Kingdom in May 2017 thanks to a love triangle that involved her then-husband, Mike Ramsay. In court, Ramsay refused to pay for Walker’s botox injections and breast implants, saying that Vanderpump should pay instead. Walker took Ramsay to court where she accused him of making threats, Ramsay was later found not guilty.
The Sun reported that Ramsay had given Walker his blessing to have an affair with Vanderpump. In court, Ramsay said, “It was better to have an adulterous wife than have no mother for our two children.” Later, Ramsay told Walker in court, “The only thing [Vanderpump] feels when he puts his hand in his pocket is his c**k.” Walker replied, “At least he knows what to do with it.” Ramsay added that he gave his wife his blessing for the affair because she had been drinking heavily and been depressed.
2. Walker Was Formerly Married to One of the Stars of The Office
Walker married Scottish actor Patrick Baladi in Saint Lucia in January 2007. Baladi is best known for his role as Ricky Gervais’ boss in the second season of the English The Office. The couple had a daughter, Ava, together. They met when they both appeared in an episode of the British detective series A Touch of Frost together in 2003. Baladi said in an interview with the Daily Mail, “I played the owner of an escort agency and strip club and she was hired as a dancer. She was quite striking, and I thought, “No, that’s going to be trouble, I should leave that alone.” Despite his instincts, Baladi said that he contacted Walker later and the two hit it off.
Walker discussed his proposal in an interview with the Yorkshire Evening Post, “We’ve just got back from a fantastic holiday in Las Vegas after Pat won a celebrity poker tournament. Having been with each other 24 hours a day on holiday, we really missed each other when we got back and he went to London and I came up to Leeds. We were speaking on the phone and he just said ‘marry me’. I was shocked, but so chuffed! I had been planning to ask him but he beat me to it.” Despite their split, Baladi is still heavily involved in the raising of their daughter.
3. Walker Previously Tried to Start a Girl Group for ‘Stunning’ Girls
In 2010, Walker put out an advertisement looking for “stunning girls” to join her girl group, Dolly Mix. At the time Walker was going by her married-name of Gemma Baladi. The posting reads that Walker “started this girl band and we are currently called “Dolly Mix” however this name is not set in stone yet and can be changed.” The notice compares the band’s sound to Beyonce and “Lady Ga Ga.”
The band were looking “for stunning girls that are confident, sexy and can sing, and 100% committed and reliable.” The group was planning to enter the British version of The X-Factor.
4. Walker Was Present When Mark & Lisa Vanderpump Had a Public Fight in 2018 in a New York City Restaurant
Walker was present with her boyfriend in January 2018 when Vanderpump had a public argument with his sister in a New York City restaurant. Radar Online reported at the time that the fight took place inside the Waverly Inn. A source told the website, “Lisa and her husband Ken and daughter Pandora were eating dinner with her brother Mark and a few others. They were all obviously really upset. Lisa and her brother were shouting at each other so that the entire restaurant could hear! … At one point, Lisa’s brother slammed his hands on the table and screamed ‘Enough is enough!’ The article goes on to describe the other restaurant patrons as being “in shock” and Lisa Vanderpump being “extremely embarrassed.”
5. Mark Vanderpump Participated in a Reality Show Aimed at Finding Him a Gold Digger Girlfriend
In the summer of 2016, just prior to announcing his relationship with Walker, Vanderpump participated in the reality dating show, Gold Diggers and Proud. This was just after his 22-year marriage to the mother of his children had ended. Vanderpump said on the show that he was “after a bit of fun.” He added, “I enjoy the company of women and I’m dating four or five women at a time.” During an appearance on a daytime talk show around the time of the show, Vanderpump arranged a date with one of his co-stars, Laura Boylan, 31. Vanderpump got the date after offering Boylan a ring worth $50,000.
The Daily Mail quoted a family source saying at the time of Vanderpump’s death, “After 22 years of marriage, Mark was living a very colorful life until it all sadly went wrong.”