Sarpong - who was Vuitton's first black male model - also worked for Gucci, Versace and Tommy Hilfiger, in addition to carving out a successful acting career in the US appearing in more than 60 films and 55 TV shows, reports the Evening Standard. He also released six rap albums with his group The League, which sold more than a million copies.
"It is with great sadness that the family of Samuel Sarpong Jr. must share the news that Sam has passed away," a representative for his family said in a statement. "The circumstances surrounding his death are currently under investigation and no additional details are known at this time. The family appreciates the thoughts and prayers and other expressions of sympathy, and request that privacy be respected at this extremely difficult time."
The brother of TV presenter June, Sarpong moved to America from Britain when he was 11 and found success, fame and fortune in his late teens. "I went from barely being able to pay my bills to now being an international model," he told Black Hollywood Live in July 2013, reports US Weekly. "I made a lot of money early. Luckily I had my father to guide me."
"It is sad and troubling when an individual has become so despondent that he or she feels their only option is to end their life," police chief Phillip Sanchez said in a statement. "These incidents can often have a significant impact on the victim's loved ones, first responders, and the community as a whole. My prayers go out to the family."