While Anderson has made a few statements about the tragic loss, he’s never opened up about the heart wrenching details of the experience… Until now.
In a new interview with Sports Illustrated, the 26-year-old is looking to make a difference after losing Allemand, and open the world’s eyes to the sad truths of suicide.
Anderson explains how the couple had gotten into a heated argument on Aug. 12, 2013, and though he can’t remember what it was about, he knows she accused him of cheating which led him to say things he’ll forever regret, telling her he didn’t love her anymore and dropping her off at her house by herself.
Just hours later he received a phone call from Gia’s mom Donna Micheletti who had been on the phone as her daughter attempted to kill herself. Anderson rushed over to find Gia and a note that read “Mom gets everything.”
The experience and her death forced the New Orleans Pelicans player to move back home with his parents–he couldn’t eat; he couldn’t sleep alone; and his family had to stay by his side at all times. He had to take a break from basketball and spent his days reading the Bible and trying to move forward.
Now, more than a year later, he’s finally returned to the court, but more importantly focused his energies on being a spokesperson for suicide awareness and prevention, wishing he had seen the warning signs from Gia before her death.
Anderson tells SI, “People need to put a face to [suicide prevention and survival], and I’m okay being that face. I’m not overjoyed that I have to talk about the most painful experience of my life, but either I become that face or I tuck [myself] away in a corner and I let this rule over me.”
Along with Gia’s mother, Anderson has started The Gia Allemand Foundation, which is currently awaiting IRS approval as a nonprofit. He is also working with an organization called To Write Love on Her Arms, helping spread the message about depression.