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The Amazing Race contestant
Reichen Lehmkuhl
ReichenLehmkuhl.jpg
Reichen Lehmkuhl in August 2006
Date of birth December 26, 1973 (1973-12-26) (age 36)
Resides Los Angeles
Season(s) Season 4
Teammate Chip Arndt
Finish Winner (Season 4)

Reichen Lehmkuhl, (born Richard Allen Lehmkuhl on December 26, 1973), is an American former reality show winner, male model, and occasional actor. A former Air Force officer, he is best known for winning season four of the reality game show The Amazing Race with his then-partner Chip Arndt, and for his much publicized 2006 relationship with pop singer Lance Bass.

Contents

Biography

Early life

After Lehmkuhl's parents, a policeman and a nurse, divorced when he was five, his family moved to Norton, Massachusetts, and his mother remarried. Sometime after 2002, he changed his first name legally from Richard to Reichen.[1]

At age 16, he received and accepted an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. After graduating in 1996, he served five years and attained the rank of Captain before his honorable discharge. He has since advocated for gay rights in the military as a spokesperson for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.[1]

The Amazing Race

Lehmkuhl was working simultaneously as a Physics teacher at Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences, flight instructor and model in Los Angeles when he was approached by a casting director for The Amazing Race.[2] Lehmkuhl and Chip Arndt were a happy couple during the competition but have since split. Lehmkuhl moved to Dallas, Texas briefly after his win on The Amazing Race but before all episodes had been broadcast. Reichen's spending habits at that time caused speculation that he had won The Amazing Race — and that he and Arndt had broken up. During the show, the couple was typically described as "Married" in the subtitles that are used to illustrate the relationship between team members (other teams being, for example, "Best Friends" or "Father-Daughter").

After The Amazing Race

Lehmkuhl had a cameo in an episode of "Frasier" in September 2003 as "Impossibly Handsome Man".

Two "Reichen" calendars featuring nude and semi-nude photos of Lehmkuhl were released, in 2005 and 2006, respectively. The first was issued by 10% Productions; the second was an exclusive sold through Lehmkuhl's official Web site.

Lehmkuhl hosted The Reichen Show on Q Television Network until Q Television ceased operations in May 2006. His autobiography Here's What We'll Say, about his time in the Air Force under the military's commonly called "Don't ask, don't tell" policy, was released by Carroll and Graf on October 28, 2006. He publishes a beefcake calendar each year and has appeared on sitcoms, soap operas, and other reality television shows.

On May 1, 2007, the LGBT-interest television network here! announced that Lehmkuhl had joined the cast for the third season of its original gothic soap opera, Dante's Cove. He plays the role of "Trevor," originally described as "a business school graduate who comes to Dante's Cove looking to find himself."[3]

Lehmkuhl also has a jewelry line called Flying Naked, composed of flight-themed jewelry made of titanium steel. Items from the collection are being sold from Love and Pride.com. A percentage of each sale going toward the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

(l-r)politico Don Norte, friend JETSKY, Reichen Lehmkuhl, & Don Nort'e husband and fellow politico, Kevin Norte stop for photos on the Red Carpet at GLAAD's Annual Summer West Holywood's "Thank GLAAD IT's FRIDAY" social fundraser/mixer.

Relationship with Lance Bass

On July 26, 2006, former 'N Sync band member Lance Bass told People Magazine that he is gay and in a "very stable relationship" with Lehmkuhl. Bass and Lehmkuhl's relationship became the subject of significant tabloid coverage; however, the media did not take kindly to Lehmkuhl. Page Six reported that the "cash-strapped" Lehmkuhl was using Bass for money and publicity for his upcoming memoir.[4] Tabloids also reported that Bass's friends disapproved of his relationship with Lehmkuhl, claiming "[Lehmkuhl] is a big gay activist and very controlling. He wants Lance to give up his straight friends and do whatever he tells him to.”[5]

Lehmkuhl responded to tabloid rumors by saying, "If I were actually that type of person, I wouldn't even want to be alive... it would have to be a miserable existence."[6] Regarding the timing of his book release, he stated, "The book was done and set for publishing and distribution before I ever met Lance."[6]

In December 2006, Lehmkuhl threatened to file a lawsuit against gossip blogger Perez Hilton, after Hilton posted items for months that implied Lehmkuhl was cheating on Bass, and that he was a user of crystal meth.[6] In a blog posted to his MySpace, Lehmkuhl stated, "It is not clear how the lawsuit will be structured, but we are committed ... the goal of this lawsuit is to result in the stopping of your name being used in connection with untruths and gossip on the internet that obviously damage/ruin your name/reputation and lessen your ability to be successful in your profession."[7] Hilton responded by stating, "Now that he can't comfortably ride Lance Bass' coattails, this is Reichen's latest transparent attempt to get publicity for himself. I applaud him!"[7] After he broke up with Bass, Lehmkuhl dropped the lawsuit and removed the post from his MySpace. Hilton and Lehmkuhl remain rivals, with Hilton once posting on his website that he will take a picture with anyone, "except for Lance Bass's boyfriend or Fidel Castro... and they're both practically dead to [me] anyways!"[8]

Bass and Lehmkuhl split in January 2007.[9]. He later dated a personal trainer named Ryan Barry.He is currently in a relationship with a Brazilian model called Rodiney Santiago.

In late 2008, Lehmkuhl launched a new website called "The Real Reichen". The site is a subscriber-based webcam, purporting to allow viewing of Lehmkuhl in his home and other locations.

References

  1. ^ a b "LIFT THE BAN". Servicemembers Legal Defence Network. http://www.sldn.org/binary-data/SLDN_ARTICLES/pdf_file/1061.pdf. Retrieved 2009-01-12.  
  2. ^ Reichen Lehmkuhl bio via Amazing Race site on CBS
  3. ^ Reichen Lehmkuhl Joins the Cast of here! Networks' "Dante's Cove"
  4. ^ Movin' On In (New York Post)
  5. ^ Scoop! Lance & Reichen headed for a break? (San Francisco Examiner)
  6. ^ a b c Reichen Lehmkuhl: Exclusive Interview (Contact Hollywood)
  7. ^ a b Reichen to Perez: Back Off, B****! (TMZ)
  8. ^ Pink on Pink (Perez Hilton)
  9. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. and Rodriguez, Brenda. (January 29, 2007). "Lance Bass & Reichen Lehmkuhl Split For Good". People magazine. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20010139,00.html. Retrieved 2007-12-04.  

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