Little Women: Atlanta star Ashley Ross – also known as Ms Minnie – has died suddenly at the age of 34.
Her publicist Liz Dixson confirmed the news in a statement published on Ross’s Instagram account.
The statement, issued “with profound sadness”, said Ross “had succumbed to injuries from a tragic hit-and-run car accident”.
The show, which airs on the Lifetime channel in the UK, follows the lives of a group of women with dwarfism.
The reality show is based in Atlanta, Georgia, in the US.
The statement continued: “The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”
No holds barred
The sixth series of Little Women: Atlanta is set to air later this year and it’s believed filming has already been completed. Ross had been a part of the show since it began in 2016.
It was a spin-off of Little Women: LA and like the original, is full of real-life drama as the women navigate their way through life’s challenges – there’s boyfriend issues, pregnancies, tears, tantrums, you name it.
The women have even delved into the world of hip hop – well, it is Atlanta.
But it also has a serious side, showing the difficulties of having dwarfism.
In an interview with Madamenoire, Ross said she joined the show because she “wanted to be part of this movement because I want everyone to see our point of view in life. I want people to, you know, see what we go through. The everyday struggle that little people go through in life. When people say the struggle is real? It’s real. We go through hell and back.”
Ross is described on the Lifetime website as the “Mama Bear” of the group “as all of the women seek her approval on everything”.
In one famously feisty episode in series one, Ross said of fellow star Shirlene Pearson, aka Miss Juicy: “She look like somebody grandma, I look like somebody daughter or sister.”
Difficulties also surfaced over a choice of maid of honour in season five.
Fellow cast members, including Amanda Salinas, paid tribute to Ross on Instagram.
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Salinas’s twin Andrea, who also stars in the the show, paid tribute, too.
She wrote: “Minnie why did you have to leave us so soon?”