I became acquainted with actor-director Demian Bichir during the 2011-’12 Oscar season, or roughly seven and a half years ago. I was one of the more passionate supporters of his lead performance in Chris Weitz‘s A Better Life. Bichir wound up being Oscar-nominated for same. We became friendly acquaintances during this period (saw each other at a few Oscar-season events, exchanged messages) and have kept in occasional touch since.

In 2011 Bichir was going with model-actress Stefanie Sherk, who at the time was 37 years old. I never spoke with her outside the usual party chatter. She and Demian later married, although I’m not sure exactly when. They lived together in Sherman Oaks.

Yesterday Bichir announced on Instagram that Sherk, 43, had died on 4.20. It’s been reported that Sherk was found dead at the bottom of the couple’s swimming pool on 4.12. It was reported today that Sherk died by her own hand. The Daily Mail‘s Lauren Freun and Jabeen Waheed reported that the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner has ruled her death a suicidal drowning.

I’ve been in touch with Demian; I hope and trust he’ll get through this horrible, impossibly sad episode.