Alex Reid has claimed his appearance on ITV’s The Jeremy Kyle Show caused him to ‘self harm’.
In a new interview, the martial artist and ex-husband of former glamour model Katie Price revealed that he threw himself into professional MMA fights “without training” after featuring on the show, which was axed this week following the death of a guest, Steve Dymond.
In an article for Metro, 43-year-old Alex said he had initially hoped to “get [his] side [of the story] across”.
But he slammed the show for “feeding off insecurities” and endangering the mental health of its participants.
He said: “The show feeds off insecurities, heaped with high drama petrol to create at best, an on-stage explosion but at worst, a chilling exposure of our society’s desperate car-crash media thirst.
“There are hordes of good people chewed up and spat out by the reality show machine. How many end up taking their own life? Very few. But how many have their personal life destroyed? Career crushed? Mental health endangered? Probably all of them.”
Alex said his decision to participate in “martial arts fights without training” was “probably [his] version of self-harming.”
Speaking further, he said that while the fighting was “destructive”, it gave him a “temporary purpose” and served as a “distraction”.
It follows the death of Steve Dymond, 63, who appeared on the show to prove he’d been faithful to his fiancée, Jane Callaghan.
But he failed one of the programme’s controversial lie-detector tests and the couple are believed to have broken up soon after.
A source told the paper that when Jeremy and others involved in the show heard about Mr Dymond’s death, they feared it would be the “nail in the coffin” for the 14-year-old talk show.
The source continued: “There’s been a groundswell of criticism since the news broke of Steve’s death, and there’s a feeling from people who work on the show that top bosses might decide to use the incident as a reason to change things around.”
Viewers have expressed both sadness and anger at ITV’s decision to axe the long-running series for good.
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