Gemma Collins has spoken about her recent I’m A Celebrity experience in an interview with This Morning.
The TOWIE star entered the jungle with nine other celebrities earlier this month but withdrew from the reality show just three days in, having struggled with the quirks of the format. Catching up with Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on the ITV Daytime show, Gemma said:
“I had been through a horrific ordeal… 24 hours before I left for Australia and I’ve had a terrible backlash from the media and the general public. But it’s not their fault because they don’t know what happened to me. I’ve wanted to go into the jungle for three and a half years… what happened to me was horrific but I just thought ‘Gem, you’ve got to do this, you have to do this, not only for yourself, but for everyone that has supported you throughout your years on TOWIE’…I didn’t want to let anyone down. In hindsight, I never should have got on to the plane to go.”
The reality star went on to divulge details of her jungle-induced misery, noting that she had requested a private chat with producers and told them ‘I’m really struggling, I’m bringing everyone down in this camp – I’m not Gemma, I am breaking down here… I’m a broken woman, I’m not able to cope with this, I thought I could be fun and upbeat’. She added: “I went on the show so people could see other sides to me – but the girl you were going to see for the next three weeks was a total wreck.”
Gemma went on to deny reports that she left the jungle for another paid engagement, and outlined her plans to donate the percentage of her appearance fee which she has received to a charity for starving children.
Speaking of the lack of food in the jungle and how this affected her, she explained:
“A lot of it was played on in there [with people saying] ‘Oh Gemma is starving, she’s leaving the jungle’ and I’ll be honest with you, I was starving! I’m a plus size girl, I went from everything to 500 calories a day, and that did affect me and when I went in the ‘telegraph’ the room was spinning around, all my blood sugar levels had dropped, I am meant to take insulin three times a day, but with all what happened to me, I forgot to take my medication in the jungle as well…”
Reflecting on her panic attack on board an helicopter, Gemma said: “I’ve never been in a helicopter before. I know everyone has a negative view of me at the minute, but part of that crying was what I’d gone through… it was all the shock trauma coming out of me. People don’t know what I’ve been through. That was a panic attack and if people saw pictures and if people knew what I’d been through, then they would totally be very understanding.”
Gemma played down her ‘quitting TV’ comments, explaining that she was a “broken girl” at the time they were made. She added of her jungle exit:
“I regret it terribly because on a personal level it was the dream job I always wanted. I’m not a quitter, I would have gone in there to win it. That was the plan. I’m devastated at the events that happened beforehand… and I feel very upset about that.”
“All of them [the campmates] are doing amazing. You don’t realise when you’re in there that it is worse than what you see on the TV. Experiencing it for real life is unreal. I’m watching it and I love the show, definitely.”
Gemma’s interview can be seen in full here – http://www.itv.com/thismorning/showbiz/gemma-collins-recalls-jungle-nightmare
This Morning airs weekdays from 10.30am on ITV