Ryan Knight’s Ex-Girlfriend Jemmye Carroll Reflects on His Death: “Living Too Fast Was His Motto”

Ryan Knight and Jemmye Carroll
Ryan Knight's final episode of MTV's The Challenge aired on Tuesday, Jan. 27; here, his ex-girlfriend Jemmye Carroll reflects on their complicated relationship and his sudden death at age 29 Steve Granitz/WireImage

Ryan Knight and Jemmye Carroll weren't a couple when he died suddenly at age 29 last November, but they were still very much a part of each other's lives. Shortly before his death, they competed together on The Challenge: Battle of the Exes II, which is airing now on MTV. Their last episode was Tuesday, Jan. 27.

"The last time I saw him was when we flew back together from Battle of the Exes," Carroll told Us Weekly at a press event for the show in Glendale, Calif., earlier this month. "He passed away on a Thursday, Thanksgiving, and I talked to him on a Monday or Tuesday. We still talked a lot."

Indeed, despite the fact that they'd been broken up for three years at the time of his passing — they met on The Real World: New Orleans in 2010 and broke up in October 2011 — Carroll and Knight shared a special, albeit complicated, bond.

"We've done these shows together, and we were constantly connected through our Challenge family and Real World family," she explained. "Every show, he was there. I could never escape him." Because of that, she told Us, she can't imagine going back on her own. "I don't think it would ever feel right being there without him," she admitted. 

Their relationship wasn't perfect, of course, but they made it work. "There were times we would be good and times we would be bad," she recalled. "One day he'd call me and we'd talk for an hour, the next day he'd call me and I wouldn't want to talk to him at all. So it was very up and down. That's how we were as people. You never knew what to expect of us or from us."

Knight, in particular, had a bit of a wild streak. "Living too fast was his motto. I don't even think he would be offended by us sitting here saying that. That's who he was as a person," Carroll said of her ex, who died after a night of partying.

"I don't think he would regret anything," she continued. "Life sometimes catches up to you. I have talked to his friends that were with him that night, and he was happy. He was doing what he always did every time he went out, but he was happy, so I guess you need to find some sort of peace with that. Whatever happened, it happened when he was enjoying life and living life."

Still, she struggles sometimes with the fact that their story is so unfinished. "It gets better, I guess," Carroll shared with Us. "But there's some point in the day, whether it's the morning when I wake up or a busy day and I'm going to sleep, you just think about it and you kind of analyze everything that happened and the stuff you never said."

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