20220831 south african model charlbi dean
Charlbi Dean. Image Credit: AFP

Four months after the sudden demise of Charlbi Dean at the age of 32, the cause of her death has been revealed.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner confirmed to People magazine that the performer and model died of bacterial sepsis.

The sepsis “was a complication from asplenia (the absence of a spleen)” due to “remote blunt trauma to her torso,” the spokesperson added. Dean’s spleen had been removed after a 2008 car crash.

Her bacterial sepsis was caused after she was infected with a bacteria known as Capnocytophaga. While the infection is rare, there are different species of Capnocytophaga that develop in the mouths of humans and which are also present in the mouths of dogs and cats, according to the CDC. People with autoimmune issues and without spleens are particularly susceptible.

She was known for her role in ‘Triangle of Sadness’, which also won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

The South African actress was born in Cape Town as Charlbi Dean Kriek and began modelling at 14 before making the transition to acting in 2010, when she starred in the film ‘Spud’.