Caroline Bittencourt, a Brazilian model and TV personality, has died at the age of 37, her daughter, Isabelle Bittencourt, confirmed on Instagram.
Brazilian news outlet Globo reported that Bittencourt had died after she dived into the sea in Ilhabela, 200 miles east of Sao Paulo, during a storm on April 27 during a storm.
According to reports, Bittencourt was attempting to rescue her puppies after they fell off of her boat. Her husband, Jorge Sestini, also jumped in the water. He was rescued three hours later, Globo reported, citing Cestini’s father, Jorge. Bittencourt’s body later washed up on Cigarras Beach, close to Sao Paulo.
Bittencourt married Sestini in January 2019, reported Globo at the time. Bittencourt’s agent, Andrea Boneti, told Globo, “Jorge tried to save her. He saw Carol drowning and wasn’t able to save her. It was a terrible moment for him.”
In an Instagram post that published on April 29, Isabelle wrote that she was grateful for the support and messages that her family has received. Isabelle said that the family will hold a private memorial service for her mother and have asked the public to respect their privacy. A more public memorial will be held at a later date.
Bittencourt’s agency, OXYgen Models, told Globo, “We are grateful for all the trust she has placed in us in these years of work and partnership, our condolences to the friends and family of the victim.”
In 2005, Bittencourt made international news when she was thrown out of the wedding celebrations between Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo and his wife, Daniella Cicarelli. It was reported at the time that the issue had been Bittencourt’s previous relationship with Cicarelli’s ex-boyfriend, businessman Joao Paulo Diniz.
Bittencourt’s death is the second tragedy to impact Brazil’s modeling community in recent days. Tales Soares, 26, a prominent male model and LGBTQ activist died tragically after collapsing on the catwalk during Sao Paulo’s Fashion Week.