According to reports on Facebook and Twitter, Dror Barak, aka Roman Ragazzi, has died of an apparent suicide on February 25 at the age of 38. Barak most recently appeared in a fashion story in the February issue of Out, titled "New York's Finest," photographed by Marcelo Krasilcic (pictured left).
The former Israeli military trainer was outed in 2007 by New York Post’s Page Six while working at the Israeli consulate, the ensuing scandal caused him to resign. Later that year, he started a personal training and fitness company called Freedom Fitness.
According to this blog, Raging Stallion head Chris Ward (who named Roman Ragazzi Raging Stallion’s Man of the Year in 2008) said, “He was probably the hottest man I have ever filmed—a massive man of pure beauty, intelligence and kindness. He was perfect in every possible way.”
UPDATE: We spoke with Barak's boyfriend who told us that, in fact, the incidents did not happen on Feb. 25 as previously reported, but on Thursday, Feb. 23. The boyfriend, who asked that his full name not be used, gave us this statement:
"All I would really like to say is that Dror was not some drug addicted, party obsessed, former porn star. He was a hard working man who built a very successful personal training business with very successful and dedicated clients. He was the loving, kind, gentle, and beautiful inside and out. I caution anyone who would crucify and judge someone so soon upon their passing for something they did in the past that is in no way connected to their current life. Dror was a beautiful kind human being who loved his work, loved his dog Diesel and loved me and his brother Justin Fauci very much. He was a simple man who enjoyed nothing more than being curling up on the couch to watch a movie with his dog and his boyfriend."