Big Brother

The tragic tale of season 1 Big Brother star Gordon Sloan and his mysterious death

The season one Big Brother star passed away in China in 2007.

By Bella Brennan
He was part of the original line-up of the Big Brother Australia cast when the show first premiered on our screens back in 2001.
Gordon Sloan starred alongside some of the most famous BB names including winner Ben Williams, Blair McDonough, who would go on to star on shows like Neighbours and bum dance queen Sarah-Marie Fedele.
While the Melbourne-based architect only lasted two weeks in the house, he made a lasting impression on viewers thanks to his unique spikey-haired mohawk.
The reality star also enjoyed the perks of his newfound fame, partaking in a brief six-month romance with Rogue Traders lead singer Natalie Bassingthwaighte in 2005.
But just six years after starring on Big Brother, Gordon Sloan would be dead.
On September 1 2007, Sloan reportedly "collapsed in mysterious circumstances" in the corner of a nightclub in Beijing. He was admitted to a city hospital in the Chinese capital in a coma before tragically passing away on September 13.
He was just 34 years old.
Gordon Sloan rose to fame on season one of Big Brother Australia. (Image: Big Brother)
According to reports at the time, there were unconfirmed allegations he could have suffered from a heroin overdose.
However his family vehemently denied this theory and believed something more sinister was at play, claiming he could have been drugged by another person.
"We don't know what to believe (but) the assertion that Gordon injected a toxic substance is absolutely incorrect and has caused the family deep emotional distress," his uncle Andy Schollum told The Sydney Morning Herald after his nephew's death.
"He had not been injected in any way. The toxic substances were found in his stomach. The doctors who examined Gordon stated that his violent reaction to these substances proved that his system was completely unused to them. He would not have knowingly ingested these substances," Schollum said.
The investigation into his death by Beijing police was ultimately abandoned due to a significant lack of leads.
At the time of his death, Big Brother winner Ben Williams lead the tributes to Sloan.
"He was a very colourful person and definitely lived life to the max. It's an absolute tragedy," Williams said.
While Sloan's Big Brother housemate Todd James insisted his friend never would have willingly taken heroin.
The Melbourne-based architect was best known for his mohawk hairdo. (Image: Big Brother)
Meanwhile, ex-girlfriend Nat Bass paid a heartfelt tribute to her former flame: "To hear of my dear friend's death is truly devastating beyond words."
"He is a man who was often misunderstood but always saw the good in every person. Gordon was constantly trying to make the world a better place because he cared."
"He saw the world through rose-coloured glasses and always reminded me to smile. My thoughts are with his family and those who knew the real Gordon," Nat said in a statement.
Sloan was laid to rest in a private funeral in Sydney, attended by 150 mourners including Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Big Brother host Gretel Killeen.
"He is a man who was often misunderstood but always saw the good in every person. Gordon was constantly trying to make the world a better place because he cared," ex-girlfriend Nat Bass said of Sloan. (Image: Big Brother, Getty)
Following his stint on Big Brother, the reality star quit his job as an architect in 2003 and travelled to Iraq to work as a "human shield" in the war.
In one of his few interviews, the 34-year-old said he didn't think of himself as famous.
"Fame is a word given to people who've overachieved through natural talent and hard work, and gained the respect and admiration of firstly their peer group, then the world," he explained.
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Singer Nat Bass dated Gordon briefly for six months in 2005. (Image: Bauer syndication)