"I hope people are able to respect their privacy as well. I think when it is someone that is so young, it is tragic for anyone to see them passing at that kind of age."
The news of Ryan's passing was confirmed by his brother Jake on Instagram, who told followers, it "wasn't COVID related."
"It is with a heavy heart I announce that my brother Ryan has recently passed away on Sunday the 8th of May at 32 years of age.
"As we seek answers and try come to terms with the heartbreaking loss of my beautiful big brother, we ask for your prayers, support and privacy, he will be forever loved, never forgotten and forever young," he wrote.
"To my big brother, I love you, I'll see you one day soon you'll be missed more than you know."
The skincare entrepreneur's cause of death hasn't been made public, but it was reported by the Daily Telegraph that he passed after overdosing on prescription medication.
When the news broke, a friend told the publication that "everyone is distraught" and that he had been "battling health issues" for a while.
Ian and Ryan's relationship began in 2015.
It was the athlete’s first public relationship after he came out as gay, but the pair sadly split in 2019.
During their highly publicised union, they spoke openly about their dreams of starting a family together and how they were seeking out a potential surrogate.
At the time of their split, fans were concerned that trying to grow their family had driven a wedge between them. But Ryan slammed those claims during a chat with WHO Magazine in 2019.
"There has been talk Ian wasn't ready for a family. I can't comment on his behalf, but that was never a discussion as to why we were separating," he said.
"It was more around the busy lifestyles we lead now, and the fact it was hard to manage the relationship with the travel schedules we have."
WATCH: Ian Thorpe reveals he's excited to start a family.
This article first appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.