Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health matters, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 to connect with a trained counselor or visit the NSPL site.
Ellen DeGeneres has issued a statement regarding the death of her former talk show’s longtime DJ and co-executive producer, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, saying on Wednesday that she’s “heartbroken” over his passing.
“I’m heartbroken. tWitch was pure love and light,” she wrote on Instagram. “He was my family, and I loved him with all my heart. I will miss him. Please send your love and support to Allison and his beautiful children - Weslie, Maddox, and Zaia.”
Allison Holker Boss, his wife, confirmed in a statement to CNN on Wednesday that her husband had died at age 40.
He died by suicide, according to the LA County Medical Examiner. The LA County Coroner’s Office concluded their examination and published the report on his death on Wednesday.
Boss began his DJ duties on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in 2014, eventually going on to become a co-executive producer and occasional guest host.
Amid tribulations during the show’s run, stemming from allegations against DeGeneres from some employees about a toxic work environment, Boss publicly stood by his friend DeGeneres.
“We can’t speak too much legally about it, but I’ll say this, there’s been love,” Boss told Us Weekly. “Obviously there’s some things to address, but from my standpoint and from countless others, there’s been love. I’ll just leave it at that until there’s a time where we can address more publicly. There’s been love and there will continue to be love.”
As the show geared up for its finale earlier this year, Boss looked back at his time there with fondness, telling Entertainment Tonight that bidding farewell was a challenge.
“Things do have a beginning and they have an end, so I know that, but I think the closer that it’s getting to the end, naturally, as we do, you start to miss it and you start to soak in all of the little moments where you go, ‘Well, maybe I’m not quite ready to say goodbye just yet,’” he said. “But then at the same time, this is the natural order of things and also I’ve said it before, I’m just excited for my friend to start her new chapter of the rest of her journey, you know?”
When the time came for the “Ellen” show to sign off, DeGeneres surprised Boss with a moving tribute on air. At one point, she said, “Well, I don’t want to say goodbye.”
She went on to recount the first time they met – fittingly, for a dance lesson at her house.
“It was like a crash course in getting to know each other … and he was so patient with me,” she said. “We just bonded over learning to dance together.”
DeGeneres went on to note that when he was absent from the show for whatever reason, a piece was missing.
“I count on him to look over and make silly jokes,” she said. “I love you, tWitch, and you know how much. We tell each other that every day when we say goodbye. After the show, we both say ‘love you.’ He says, ‘Love you much,’ and I say, ‘Love you.’ And, so, he’s never going to be out of my life.”
Boss reacted emotionally to the video piece and DeGeneres’ words.
“I love the family we’ve gained and something I’ll always remember is that you gave me a place where I can just be myself,” he said. He added, joking: “Whether I was a real DJ or not, I always felt at home.”
DeGeneres joked back, “You’re a fake DJ but you’re real good man.”