Belgian Lesbian Celebrity Yasmine Commits Suicide

More sad news today. In addition to the continued violence in Iran and news of Farrah Fawcett’s death, I’m sorry to report that 37-year-old Belgian singer and television presenter Yasmine (real name Hilde Rens) has committed suicide.

Yasmine was well-known in Belgium for her music and TV career, as well as her 2003 marriage to Marianne Dupon, which was the first high-profile celebrity lesbian wedding in Belgium after same-sex marriage was legalized there.

Yasmine with Marianne Dupon in happier times

The couple separated in April, which appears to have been a significant factor in Yasmine’s suicide. reader Annelies tipped us off to the news of her death and provided me with a little background on Yasmine:

Yasmine started her singing career at age 19. She was a successful recording artist and released 9 albums. She was also a beloved television presenter who quickly became one of the key faces of the Flemish Public Broadcasting Company, where she presented De Rode Loper, a popular entertainment magazine, and a variety of other shows. In 2003 she married Marianne Dupon, the winner of De Mol, an immensely popular reality game show. It was the first high-profile lesbian wedding in Belgium. Two years ago, the couple had a daughter.

In April of this year, Dupon ended the relationship. It was clear that Yasmine wasn’t handling the break-up well and she lost a lot of weight. Just two weeks ago she stated in an interview that she was going through a difficult time, but that she was coping.

Today she took her own life. The public television stations have altered their programming to pay tribute to Yasmine’s life and career.

Annelies added, "No one can quite believe it yet. This woman was incredibly well liked and respected. She was talented and passionate and outspoken." reader Eefke1979 seconded that sentiment in an email to us about the news, writing, "Belgium is mourning one of it’s beloved singers, colleague, family and friend."

Although there has been no official statement confirming she died by suicide, Belgian newspaper are covering it as such. The homepage of Yasmine’s official website is now black, with only this photo of her:

This is obviously tragic news, for Yasmine, for her daughter, and for all those who loved and admired her.

Belgian/Dutch readers, please feel free to let the rest of us know more about Yasmine in the comments, including what she did for lesbian visibility in Belgium.