Tammy Slaton has issued a formal statement.
On a topic she never thought she’d have to address.
On Saturday, the 1000-Lb Sisters star spoke to People Magazine about the death of Caleb Willingham, Slaton’s husband of a few months who passed away this week at the age of 40.
His cause of death has not yet been announced.
“I am devastated to share the news of my husband’s passing,” Tammy told People, adding:
“He was my best friend and I loved him dearly.
“When I met Caleb he became my guardian angel and now he really is watching over me.
“Our families appreciate everyone’s sympathy and ask that you respect our privacy at this time.”
Caleb’s stepmother also confirmed this heartbreaking news to TMZ this morning, while Tammy’s sister-in-law, Amanda Halterman, shared the news to her Facebook page.
“Please whisper a prayer for our family and all of Caleb’s family,” Amanda wrote on Friday.
“Heaven got a good one! I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with him but the messages he would send helped me through so many dark times.
“I am so thankful for the love he showed my sister and all those he came in contact with.”
Slaton met Willingham when they were both patients at a rehab facility in Ohio in 2021, as each was being treated for obesity-related issues.
“You know the other day, Tammy actually saved my life,” Caleb revealed to their fellow Windsor Lane Rehabilitation Center patients in a March episode of 1000-Lb. Sisters.
“I was out of oxygen. I was sitting her hurting, in pain, tears falling down my face, and she got help.
“It meant the world to me because you showed kindness.”
In November of last year, the pair got married.
“You all knew me as Tammy Slaton, but now you’ll all know me as Mrs. Tammy Willingham,” the TLC personality told People at the time.
“I’m married now!”
Added Tammy in footage from her reality show:
“When I saw Caleb at the altar, I was just picturing doves and butterflies all around like God had opened up the clouds and let the sunlight in. It was magical.”
Just a few months later, though, Willingham told Facebook friends that the relationship was over.
“I’m hurt, mad, confused and alone even with others around,” he wrote in April. “Thank you for your love, prayer and support.”
According to a report in The Sun, Slaton broke up with Willingham because he was holding her back and endangering the progress she had make losing weight and becoming healthy.
“They split up because Caleb hasn’t been following his diet in rehab,” a Sun insider said this spring, adding:
“They got into a big fight over it and he told her he wanted a divorce, but then he tried to backtrack.
“She wants someone who can be there for her and his health keeps declining.”
Late Friday, statement of shock and sorrow started to pour forth on social media in regard to Willingham’s death.
“I can’t believe I’m even making this post, but today GOD called my big brother home,” wrote Facebook user I’am Willc, who shared a picture of Willingham in front of a microphone.
“R.I.P. Caleb Willingham aka Killla K aka Double K aka one half of the dynamic WWF tag team champions The W Boys aka my biggest supporter in anything I do.
“You will be forever loved and missed. Until we meet again.”
In a statement of its own this weekend, TLC said the following:
“We are deeply saddened to learn of Caleb Willingham’s passing. Our condolences go out to Tammy, his family and friends at this difficult time.”
We’ll end this sad story on a happy note, passing along what Slaton told Us Weekly in February of Caleb:
“We support each other wholeheartedly.
“On our weight loss journeys, when he’s having issues with wanting to eat because he’s bored or because he’s an emotional eater, he comes to me and we talk about the situation.
“It’s the same for me and I talk to him. We talk about our issues and why we feel this way. We are true partners.”