Cherry Valentine has died. The Drag Race UK star, whose real name was George Ward, died on Sept. 18, according to a statement from his parents, which was released through his PR firm on Instagram. He was 28.
"It is with the most heart wrenching and deepest sadness to inform you that our George -- Cherry Valentine -- has tragically passed away," the statement reads. "This will come as a profound shock to most people & we understand there is no easy way for this to be announced."
"As his family, we are still processing his death and our lives will never be the same," the statement continues. "We understand how much he is loved and how many lives he has inspired and touched. All we ask is for your patience and your prayers in this time. We love you Georgie."
No other information about Ward's death was immediately available.
Born in Darlington, England, Ward, a mental heath nurse, appeared on six episodes of Drag Race UK in 2020.
The show's Instagram account reacted to Ward's death, sharing photos from his time on the series.
"We are heartbroken that Cherry has passed away," the post read. "She was a kind soul who brought joy and a distinctive laugh to everyone she met. She brought flair, verve and charm to #DragRaceUK, we will miss her so deeply."
The U.S. version of the show, RuPaul's Drag Race, likewise reacted to the news, tweeting, "Rest in peace, Cherry Valentine. Thank you for sharing your art with all of us. You will be so missed."
Earlier this year, Ward starred in a documentary, Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud, which told the story of how he left the Gypsy community after he was rejected when he came out as gay.