The Tragic Death Of Ricki Lake's Second Husband

Ricki Lake has accomplished a lot ever since she made her debut as the lead character, Tracy Turnblad, in the 1988 film Hairspray. "I had no idea what I was signing up for, and how it would give me the career and the life that I've had," she gushed in a 2015 Oprah: Where Are They Now? interview (via HuffPost). "It's just completely surreal."

Lake went on to host her own daytime talk show, Ricki Lake, from 1993 to 2004 at just 24 years old — the youngest person at the time to do so — and then later dabbled in other projects, including starring on Dancing With the Stars and acting in several television shows and movies. Clearly, Lake is a force to be reckoned with.

Unfortunately, Lake has dealt with her fair share of criticism, especially when it comes to her weight. "It's just been part of it," she admitted in the same Oprah interview. "My weight fluctuates." In January 2020, the actress revealed another setback: She's been "struggling with hair loss for most of [her] adult life." However, Lake proudly showed off her new buzz cut in a candid Instagram post, detailing her "painful" and "depressing" battle. Luckily, fans rallied around Lake and she revealed she's "delighted that people have been so supportive," per TMZ.

Hair loss hasn't been her only struggle: Back in 2017, Lake's second husband, Christian Evans, died by suicide. Keep reading to find out about more about Lake's tragic loss.

Ricki Lake's late husband's secret struggle

In February 2017, Ricki Lake was in London when she got a text from Christian Evans' sister, saying he wrote a suicide note via email. "I knew right then that he was gone. Everybody thought he was missing, but I knew," Lake told People in March 2017. Two days later, Evans was found dead in his car from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. "The struggle was just too much for him," Lake tearfully recalled. "He did the best he could."

Lake and Evans started dating in 2010 and got married in 2012. Right off the bat, the two seemed to hit it off. However, Evans — who told Lake he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder earlier in life — was dealing with "a lot of self-esteem issues and a lot of demons," she recalled. "But I understood him."

In 2014, Lake saw Evans in his manic state for the first time and revealed it "was horrific" and "wasn't the person I had been with for four years." One month later, Lake filed for divorce from Evans, so that he could get help and become stable. Soon after, Evans went to a treatment facility. Following his release, Evans and Lake moved back in together, despite calling it quits, and Lake admitted she was "still in love with him" and "wanted to save him."

Ultimately, Evans' mania returned in September 2016 and Lake realized "there was nothing I could do," so he moved out.

How Ricki Lake honors her late husband today

Following Christian Evans' death, Ricki Lake made it clear she wouldn't forget about her late husband. "I am going to try my best to honor him by living a full and happy life," she told People in March 2017. "I don't know what's in store for me, but I'm an optimist."

Even though Lake and Evans' relationship was not always full of rainbows and butterflies, Lake explained she cherished their time together, despite it being cut short. "I never stopped loving that man," she said to People. "I'm so lucky I got those beautiful years with him." And she's trying to help others avoid similar tragedies, telling the magazine, "I have to spread the word about recognizing this disorder and getting treatment as soon as possible."

Lake still thinks about Evans, as she frequently uploads photos of their adventures together on Instagram. "I miss my #spiritualgangster #twinflame #christianevans #lover partner in crime #ibiza dance buddy @losangelesclippers with every passing minute. #bipolar #mentalillness #neverforget," Lake captioned a few photos of herself with Evans in March 2017.

Ricki Lake has since 'found love again'

Ricki Lake seems to be in a good place these days. So much so, she revealed she "found love again" — two years after Christian Evans' death. "My husband, who passed away from mental illness and suicide, it'll be two years on February 11, and I just recently found a brilliant new love," she said at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif. in February 2019 about her new boyfriend, Jeff Scult.

Lake revealed she met Scult through a mutual friend and couldn't help but gush about her new beau. "He's making me really happy," she said, per People. "We've been together for three-and-a-half months."

After Evans passed away, Lake was unsure if Cupid would strike one more time. "I found true love with my husband who passed, so I'm hoping to find love again," she told PeopleTV's Chatter in October 2018. "I'm open to it, but I think what I had — I was so lucky to have found that, it's what everybody wants in life." 

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.