On Friday morning (12 January), a tweet claiming to be from her family was sent from Rebekah’s verified account saying that she had died “unexpectedly” two days earlier.
A tweet sent from the official ‘Big Brother’ account also paid tribute to the star, who appeared as a contestant on the reality show in 2009.
However, Rebekah has now posted a video on her Twitter to clarify the situation, explaining the statement was maliciously posted by someone who gained access to her account.
In the video, she said: “I just want to kindly ask, please stop spreading the news that I’m dead, because obviously I am not.
“I’ve been through hell today, because someone used my Twitter account to write that stupid status. This person can’t accept the fact that I’m happy, that I overcame all my problems and that I’m finally living my life happily.
“I’m on holiday, I’m in Arabia, and I’m not dead.”
The original post read: “We’re sorry to inform everyone of the sad news that our wonderful and lovely Rebekah died unexpectedly on Wednesday night.
“We ask that you respect the family’s privacy at this time.”
After the story was picked up across multiple news outlets across the world -including HuffPost, the BBC and The Sun - many fans paid tribute to Rebekah on social media, including ‘Big Brother’s Bit On The Side’ presenter Rylan Clark-Neal.
Bosses of the Channel 5 reality show did not issue official comment when approached by HuffPost, but a tweet was posted on their Twitter account, which read: “So sad to hear that Rebekah Shelton, who appeared in #BBUK 2009 as Rodrigo Lopes, has passed away aged just 32.
“Our thoughts are with her friends and family, from everyone here at Big Brother UK.”
Brazil-born Rebekah took part in the show under her former name, Rodrigo Lopes, and is remembered for her unabashed love of the Queen, and brief romance with fellow housemate Charlie Drummond.
Three years after leaving the house, Rebekah came out as transgender in 2012, and has since made guest spots on spin-off show ‘Big Brother’s Bit On The Side’, as well as an appearance on ‘Judge Rinder’ which aired last year.
She also briefly starred in an episode of ‘Hollyoaks’.
In an interview with Heat magazine, she disclosed that when she changed her name to Rebekah, she chose “Shelton” as a surname after the family she stayed with when she first moved to the UK.
Editor’s note: The original version of this story has been updated.