Twin brothers Billy and Joe Smith, former stars of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, died on Saturday, December 28th after an apparent joint suicide. Their bodies were found hanging from a tree in their hometown of Sevenoaks, England.
“Kent Police was called at 11: 34 a.m. on Saturday 28, December 2019, after the bodies of two men in their thirties were discovered in Dibden Lane, Sevenoaks,” Kent Police Press Officer Sally Smith told In Touch Weekly. “The incident is not being treated as suspicious and officers are compiling a report for the coroner.”
Deaths of two men found in Kent lane 'not suspicious': Media reports widely name the men as twins Billy and Joe Smith, who appeared on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. https://t.co/X9g9Tg8GYw pic.twitter.com/59JI9DjSPS
— Bendypragnell (@bendypragnell) December 29, 2019
Billy and Joe were 32-years-old who were part of British gypsy culture who are known as English Travellers or Romanichal Travellers. They appeared on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding during Season 3 when they were both 24 years old and discussed their lifestyle, as well as their plans to one day settle down, get married, and start families of their own.
Members of their community have been posting on social media to mourn the loss of the two brothers. Paddy Doherty, their My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding co-star and winner of UK’s Celebrity Big Brother, said that one brother found the other dead, and hung himself so he could be with his brother.
“That’s a terrible, terrible tragedy. There’s no one worse than yourself,” said the former boxer. “Pray for the boys’ family. The boys’ mother and father and all who belong to them. For them to get strong, to get through this. And I’m very very sorry for their troubles, at the start the new year as well. I’m very very sorry for your troubles, from the bottom of my heart.”
Rest in peace, Billy and Joe Smith. https://t.co/LpCFHbMnCo
— Entertainment Tonight (@etnow) December 29, 2019
Another member of their community wrote that the two boys couldn’t live without each other, and another added that depression is “rife among our folki.”
Billy and Joe’s friend Jane Chippendale told The Mirror that the twins were working for their uncle’s landscaping company, and they recently stayed with her at her home. She said they moved out last month and told her they were going to live with their aunt after a trip to Thailand.
“I’m still in shock. It doesn’t make sense,” said Chippendale. “Their clothes are hanging up in my washroom. They were like sons when they were here. They were so identical. It was hard to tell them apart. They asked if they could come round at Christmas, but I hadn’t heard anything from them.”
My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding inspired an American spin-off that aired on TLC for five seasons from 2012 to 2016.
If you or someone you know is thinking about committing suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.