Comedienne Ellen DeGeneres has spoken of her devastation over the death of a gay teenager who killed himself after he was 'outed' on the internet. Tyler Clementi, 18, took his own life after a roommate allegedly videoed him having sex with another male and posted the footage on the web.
The news comes after three similar incidents in which gay American teenagers have committed suicide after being bullied. Openly gay talk show host DeGeneres has expressed her sadness at Clementi's death and made a public appeal to prevent any more tragedies.
She says, "I am devastated over the death of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi. He was outed as being gay on the internet and he killed himself... One life lost in this senseless way is tragic. Something must be done. This needs to be a wake up call to everyone that teenage bullying and teasing is an epidemic in this country, and the death rate is climbing. We have an obligation to change this."
R&B singer Ciara has also spoken out in a bid to help vulnerable teenagers. In a special YouTube.com video she recorded with MTV VJ La La Vazquez, she says, "You gotta know that your life is in your hands; you determine your destiny. You're in total control. You determine where things can go - where they can start, where they can stop. It starts with you, and it really does get better."
An investigation into Clementi's death is currently underway by cops.