Friday, February 8, 2013



Ashley Riggitano-"Dying to Live The Life"

(New York, New York) --This story disturbs me on so many levels and it echoes a real problem in this country; "everything that glitters ain't gold!"  This doe-eyed beauty had the face of an angel, but behind these dark, mahogany eyes lays an even darker secret.   Ashley Riggitano was a tortured soul.

This week all over the country, pain and heartache give way to this young woman taken too soon. Ashley Riggitano only lived 22 short years. Unfortunately, it isn't her LIFE, but HER DEATH that's worthy of national headlines.  This week, on her 22nd birthday Ashley decided she didn't want to celebrate the milestone of coming into her "womanhood" with her friends; apparently she hated most of them and found them fake.  Ashley was also not  interested in a birthday cake, noisemakers or sharing a toast with her family.  Instead, her birthday was the day she decided to end it all and become yet another statistic.  

With one "unthinkable" move this budding New York driven fashionista decided to end "the competition" and the endlessly "need to please" by jumping to her death.  Authorities found her body after she laid down her designer handbag on the sidewalk, scaled The George Washington Bridge and plunged hundreds of feet into the Hudson River to her death.

I cannot imagine the pain and desperation in her final moments. Ashley Riggitano was torched, but cleverly got in one final  jab when she took the time out to write a suicide note detailing who should and should not attend her funeral.  Apparently suicide was her permanent solution to end her pain with her "so called frenemies;" girlfriends she identified as "fake" and "never being there."  The New York Post details Ashley "beefing" with her estranged business partner and other friends on Facebook earlier in the day.

AMERICA WAKE UP!   This is a "teachable moment!"   We have to embrace our girls and let them know life isn't about "15 minutes of fame."  We cannot all be Carrie Bradshaw or Kim Kardashian.  We've lost the essence of our morals.  We've become a nation obsessed with "who are you wearing and how much did it cost?"  Why? Things don't make the woman, the essence of your soul and character make you unique. You'll never find happiness in the bottom of a bottle or someone else's name written on your bottom!  Seriously!  Too many of us are literally "dying to live the dream."  We'll spend hundreds of dollars on our hair when we don't have a home to call our own.  WAKE UP, OUR PRIORITIES ARE TRULY SKEWED!

Ashley Rigatoni's history of depression and attempted suicide in the past have also been well documented this week. This tragic suicide leaves me sad asking were the warning signs there?  Did anybody take a minute to notice, "Something simply wasn't right?"   We must wake up as a nation and realize bullying in any form is never acceptable. The airwaves are saturated with "women behaving badly." The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Miami and Beverly Hills are a "sad and tragic" sign of our times. We've become totally comfortable watching women rip each other apart.

Ashley's death echoes a problem VISION/VOICE/VARION INVESTIGATES: ALL NEW THIS SEASON. Don't miss my exclusive story with a mother who watched helplessly as her 15 year old daughter was repeatedly kicked in the head by an angry mob of teenage girls. Her daughter's crime; she dared to smile at one of the boyfriends of one of her former friends. What if this unbelievable incident had ended with a death of a young girl too?  Switch now for a preview:

Bullying is real and it comes in all forms and affects all ages.  My exclusive story comes with shocking, images of a "fight to the finished" where a young woman so hell bent on striking out--she literally fights her way out of her own clothes.  Why?  WAKE UP! IT'S NOT CUTE! What happened to Ashley wasn't cute either. Hopefully no one would dare show footage of this young woman plunging to her death, but her demise is a reminder--"words mean something and they can leave an impression; good or bad." Some people are strong enough to ignore "mean girls," but others like Ashley are too damaged and too frail to know "that joy comes in the morning." Your love for God will see you through anything and in any season. If only I could have embraced this young woman and personally told her "you are beautiful and the people torching you don't have a thimble full to do with you are or who you are destined to become.

Though it's too late for Ashley Riggitano, it's not too late for the other fashionistas still looking to take New York City by storm. Always remember Ashley's story and hopefully her short life will include a legacy that will be full of teachable moments. Her demise reminds us of the lingering pain of hateful words. Her death also serves as a sobering reminder, “we have got to do better as a nation.”

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