Has Gemma Collins’ toxic relationship stolen her chance of happiness?

Fears her on / off relationship with Arg has ruined her baby plans and her ambition to break America

Gemma Collins

by Daisy McLure |
Updated on

She’s made no secret of the fact that her biggest dream is to start a family with on-off boyfriend James “Arg” Argent – but last week, things seemed to come crashing down for Gemma Collins when she posted a slew of cruel texts from Arg after reportedly calling it quits with him.

Gemma, 39 – who has been dating her former TOWIE co-star, 32, on and off since 2009 – shared screenshots of a toxic conversation with him, in which he branded her a “fat f***” and a “hippo”over a row about him “paying for another woman’s [dinner]”.

It was also reported that she was furious after believing he had suggested they have an “open relationship” and refusing to agree to it.

Gemma then warned fans in an Instagram post to be aware of signs of emotional abuse in a relationship – which she later deleted.

James Argent
Arg apparently called Gemma a 'fat f*ck' ©Getty

The savage messages came just weeks after Arg – who spent four months in rehab battling a cocaine addiction earlier this year – thanked Gemma for saving his life, calling her his “guardian angel” who forced him to get help when he needed it.

But it looks like the pair’s relationship might not be over for good as, just 24 hours after news broke they’d split, screenshots of WhatsApp messages emerged seemingly showing Gemma apologising to Arg – writing, “I shouldn’t have put the messages up, that was anger on my part which was wrong, I am sorry about that x”.

Gemma’s best mate and TOWIE co-star Bobby Norris also hinted they could reconcile, telling Fubar radio the split “isn’t what it seems” and hinting they could get back together. But fans expressed their concern over a possible reconciliation – with one writing “Stop apologising – walk away. It’s hard but it gets easier”, and another adding, “You deserve to be happy Gem”.

The pair have been notoriously volatile since their on-off relationship began nine years ago – with blazing rows resulting in numerous splits.

But Gemma has been open about her desperation to have babies with Arg – who last year tipped the scales at 23st with doctors fearing for his health – saying in the TOWIE Christmas special last year, “I am ready for the next step. That is all I am waiting for in my life… I want to get married and I want to have a baby.”

Check out: James Argent's weight loss journey, from starting in TOWIE to today


James Argent's weight loss journey - from the start of TOWIE in 2010 to now

James Argent - 20101 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2010

Arg is an OG TOWIE star and when the series first aired back in 2010 he was in a relationship with Lydia Bright.

James Argent - 20142 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2014

James was suspended from the reality show that threw him into the limelight following allegations that he failed a drug test.

James Argent - 20153 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2015

The reality star decided to switch up his lifestyle and enter rehab; he even spent Christmas Day at The Priory (the same rehab facility Katie Price spent time in during September 2018). A few months later the reality star revealed on This Morning that it was "the best decision" he has ever made.

James argent 20164 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2016 (March)

In 2016 after gaining weight, Arg attended two weight loss retreats; one in Norfolk and the other in Ibiza. After his fitness overhaul the TOWIE star dropped from 19st 1lb to 16st. He also went from 48 to 40 inches around his waist.

james argent 20165 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2016 (July)

Arg told The Sunthat waking up at 6am helped him feel like a "new man". He explained: "I am not going to lie - it has been incredibly tough and, yes, I have had the odd lapse."But I am thrilled to have lost three-stone and I do genuinely feel like a new man."

james argent 20166 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2016 (October)

At the end of 2016, Arg confessed on Instagram that he was "gutted at how unfit" he was. However he ended his post on a positive and insisted: "I'll get there and maintain it this time!"

James Argent - 20177 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2017

In 2017 Arg flew out to a rehab facility in Thailand. He spent 10 weeks out there and manages to lose another stone. Arg's friend Jack Tweed revealed all the fitness activities he had been doing during his time abroad."He said he's been doing loads of stuff like Muay Thai boxing, jungle trekking, abseiling down waterfalls and zip lining."He's been eating really healthy food and he's lost over a stone. Arg is in a really good place at the moment and I hope he keeps it up, for his sake and his family's sake," he told new! magazine.

James Argent - 20188 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2018

The on-off TOWIE couple (Arg and Gemma) split in July 2018 but then reunited the following month. After getting back together, Arg decided to take a break from the ITVBe show and seek treatment. A source told The Sun: "James was under a dark cloud recently and has made the brave decision to enter back into a programme to help him get back on track."He has been attending regular therapy and secondary care at an outpatient treatment facility in London."

James Argent - 20199 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2019

Despite struggling with his weight, Arg posted a video of the GC snoring and apparently fat-shamed her. It resulted in him being dumped but the pair reunited and managed to move on from the incident.

James Argent - 201910 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2019

In April, weight loss professional Steven Miller revealed he was concerned about James Argent's weight and even warned he could be on 'death row'.

James Argent - 201911 of 16

James Argent - 2019

Following the warning the reality star revealed he was taking up boxing to kick start his weight loss. He then vowed on This Morning to take control of his weight after Dr Ranj revealed he was significantly obese, long term he needed to lose 10 stone and drop 17 inches off his waist.

James Argent - 201912 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2019

Despite being dumped by the GC earlier on in the year after fat-shaming her, he then appeared to make more mean comments about her figure on her TV show. Fans urged Gemma to split from her boyfriend following his 'disgusting' insults.

James Argent - 201913 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2019

In August as Arg prepared to swim the English Channel for Stand Up To Cancer it came to light that in the past two years he has gained ten stone.

James Argent - 201914 of 16
CREDIT: Instagram / real_arg

James Argent - 2019

Although they didn't swim the entire English Channel, the Stand Up To Cancer team got pretty far before the weather conditions made them cut their journey short. Following his stint, Arg revealed he was heading back to the gym before teasing bigger things are on the horizon in 2020.He wrote on Instagram: "I'm going to have the biggest comeback of 2020!!! "After a few years of absence I'm now officially a member of @davidlloydchigwellofficial My 1st swim ud83cudfca‍♂ufe0f since attempting the epic challenge of the #EnglishChannel Its good to be back! ud83dude4cud83cudffd❤ufe0f".

James Argent - 202015 of 16
CREDIT: Instagram /real_arg

James Argent - 2020

At the beginning of 2020 it was reported that Arg flew out to Thailand and entered rehab following allegations of a 'second overdose'.

James Argent - 202016 of 16
CREDIT: Instagram / real_arg

James Argent - 2020

While flogging curries on Instagram, Arg showed off his impressive five-stone weight loss.

Earlier this year, she insisted she would have a baby when she’s 40 – in six months time – with Arg admitting in May, “I want to get married and have children... And you’ve got to remember that Gemma’s late thirties, so she hasn’t got time to be mucking about any more.”

However, splitting permanently from Arg would cast doubt over her plan to start a family soon. Closer’s psychological therapist Emma Kenny says that this thought may encourage Gemma to give Arg another chance.

“Gemma’s made it clear that her family is her world, and all she’s ever wanted is to start one of her own,” says Emma.

“It seems she’s pinned her hopes for her future happiness on Arg, which is why she seems to keep going back to him. But given the on-off nature of their relationship, it might not be the right time to bring a baby into the world. Arg seems to have some issues that still need work on.

"She’s 40 next year and has previously revealed she suffers with PCOS, which can adversely affect fertility, so she may be reluctant to leave him – but you should never just be with someone because you want to have a baby. She’ll only make herself more unhappy in the long run.”

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Notoriously outspoken and confident, Gemma has garnered millions of fans for her no-nonsense alter-ego, The GC – but she’s confessed in the past that her persona is just an act, and that deep down she’s “vulnerable” and “shy”.

And Gemma revealed she was “heartbroken” over Arg’s cruel jibes at her weight, saying, “I can’t be pretending I’m all smiles over the [Insta]gram, I am so upset and devastated and hurt”.

It isn’t the first time Arg has criticised her figure. In 2012, it emerged that he had been mocking Gemma’s weight behind her back, prompting her to tell him, “I may not be a size 10 but I’ve a good heart”.

Last year, screenshots emerged of Arg telling Gemma, “You’ve got more rolls than Greggs”, and calling her a “fat horrible lump”.

Watch: TOWIE's Chloe, Amber and Courtney answer our quick fire questions

And Emma says that being in a relationship where someone is so critical can break a person down and impact their happiness and self-esteem. “This kind of behaviour is emotional abuse – drilling down the other person’s confidence and insulting them, picking at their insecurities.

“Gemma seems confident – but it’s a mask, which she herself has admitted. The more Arg knocks down her confidence with jibes about her weight, the more unattractive and worthless she’ll feel. Over time, she may believe him and it can make it harder for her to walk away. That kind of self-loathing can break people down and affect all aspects of their lives.”

Last week, Closer reported that Gemma – who is one of TOWIE’s biggest success stories with her own shop, reality show, book, podcast and fashion range – halted her music career this year to focus on her relationship and baby dreams. Producer Naughty Boy, 35, revealed the plug was pulled on a song collaboration with Gemma, saying the effort “has to come from her”.

Closer mag
Read the best celeb stories in Closer magazine each week ©Closer

Meanwhile, during a split from Arg last year, Gemma revealed she wanted to move to LA to break America, but after she reconciled with Arg, friends admitted she had put her Stateside career goals on hold so that she could try for a baby with him.

And Emma says that Gemma – who has previously said her “strong work ethic” is behind her success – needs to make sure she doesn’t miss opportunities while waiting for Arg to do the right thing.

She says, “It’s natural for someone to put their career on hold for a baby, but you should only try to start a family with someone when you have a happy, stable relationship. This isn’t the case here – and Gemma may be turning down career opportunities for the sake of Arg.

“I think he needs intensive therapy to work on his issues. And I believe Gemma does too – she needs to build up enough self worth to realise that she doesn’t need Arg. If she’s so desperate to be a mother, I really believe she could do so on her own or waiting to find the right person - as that would be far better than having a baby in a toxic relationship.”

Read the best celeb stories in Closer magazine each week.

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