On Friday, The Challenge: All Stars’ Jemmye Carroll remembered her former castmate, Ryan Knight, with several social media posts on what would have been his 35th birthday.
Knight, as he was referred to by friends and castmates, got his start alongside Jemmye on The Real World: New Orleans season before moving on to The Challenge for multiple seasons.
Not only were Knight and Jemmye castmates, but they were also romantically involved and shared a close relationship, which many longtime fans saw over the years.
Jemmye shows gift she received in memory of Knight on his birthday
On Friday, Jemmye posted on her official Instagram page to show “the most thoughtful gift” that a stranger had ever sent to her, including one particular item that brought her to tears. It was a box full of various clothing items that a fan said reminded them of her former castmate, friend, and ex-boyfriend, Ryan Knight.
That included a Chicago Blackhawks jersey, a “7&7 tee,” and a jersey from Knight’s high school with the No. 24 on the front of it. That number carries special meaning; as Jemmye explained, it was both Knight’s hockey number and the Real World season they appeared on.
“I truly appreciate the love y’all constantly show me when it comes Ry & I’ve read every single message y’all have sent me today,” The Challenge: All Stars finalist said in part of her caption.
“Y’all already know what to do tonight to celebrate what would have been his 35th bday, all of the 7&7s,” Jemmye shared. The 7&7 is a highball cocktail consisting of Seagram’s Seven Crown and 7 Up, often served on ice.
Jemmye’s post brought in plenty of comments, including one from her and Knight’s castmate on The Real World: Back to New Orleans, Ashlee Feldman, who said she’d be having one of the cocktails in memory of their “craziest friend ever.”
Jemmye shares throwback photo and her thoughts on difficult day
In a slide shared on her Instagram Story, Jemmye posted an image of herself hugging Knight at a beach setting years ago. She posted text on the slide which mentioned how “grief comes in waves,” and on Knight’s birthday, it was “overwhelming” for her.
“I can’t even find words to celebrate Knight I the way he deserve. I feel so angry for being this sad on his bday but @corimarie said it best to me just now..’You usually just pretend you’re okay but your mind/body is not letting you this time.’ I needed that gentle reminder that it’s ok to not always be ok…,” Jemmye shared.
Jemmye and Knight originally met during their reality television debut as members of The Real World: New Orleans cast in 2010. It was the second time Real World had cast members live in that city, with Knight and Jemmye amongst that season’s nine total cast members. The two shared a relationship during the season, with episodes spotlighting some of their issues.
Challenge season was dedicated to Knight, Diem Brown
Following Real World, Knight and Jemmye would make their debut on The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons in 2012 alongside RW castmates McKenzie Coburn and Preston O’Neil Roberson-Charles. They’d continue to have drama and issues during their time on MTV’s competition series but seemingly remained close.
Knight also appeared on The Challenge’s Rivals II and the Battle of the Exes II seasons, which featured Jemmye amongst the cast members. Knight was teammates with his ex Jemmye on the latter season, which aired in 2015, following Knight’s death.
A friend found Knight dead on November 27, 2014, following a house party in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Per The Wrap’s 2015 report, an autopsy revealed that his cause of death was acute mixed drug and alcohol intoxication. He was just 28 years old.
Jemmye tweeted on the day of Knight’s passing, sharing a group of photos of herself with her ex and an emotional message.
With Battle of the Exes II airing in 2015, the season was dedicated to Knight and Diem Brown, who passed away nearly two weeks before Knight after her battle with cancer. Per E! News, Diem appeared as a competitor on the season alongside her ex, Chris “CT” Tamburello.
The Challenge: All Stars episodes are currently available on Paramount+.