Reality star Kirk Norcross has revealed that he tried to take his own life just last year after appearances on shows such as TOWIE, Ex On The Beach and Celebrity Big Brother left him struggling with severe anxiety and depression.
Claiming that he received “zero aftercare,” Kirk told The Sun on Sunday: "Reality TV turned me into a monster but the bosses didn’t want to look after the monster they created.”
He added: "I’d cry on set and say, ‘Please don’t make me do these things’, but I always had to."
Speaking out in the wake of Love Island star Mike Thalassitis’ tragic death, Kirk said: “I’ve thought about killing myself so many times because of what those shows did to me.
Last year I came seconds away but I thought of my son’s face. He saved my life.”
Kirk shot to fame on TOWIE alongside Mark Wright and Sam Faiers but claims that he was forced to portray a false image of himself.
“They wanted me to come across as flash, even though I was a normal guy working in a club. It caused a lot of anxiety and grief but they didn’t care,” he told the publication.
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He also alleges that show bosses pushed him into making decisions he didn’t want to, including dumping former girlfriend Lauren Pope on screen, with the threat of being kicked off the show if he didn’t comply.
After leaving TOWIE, Kirk later appeared on MTV’s Ex On The Beach where he claims he was “plied with booze” and “encouraged to have sex” in order to stay on the show.
He said: “I had a new girlfriend but they said, ‘If you don’t get with this girl you are off the show.’
“I had sex just to stay on TV. I was so ashamed — I felt like I was being pimped out. I had really bad panic attacks.”
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After coming close to taking his own life, Kirk decided “something had to change” and now works laying phone cables.
He said: “I am setting up a jet-washing company and working laying BT cables. I wear a high-vis jacket and work down manholes that are full of rats and I don’t care. I’m skint but love my new life.”
When asked for comment, a TOWIE spokesperson told The Sun: “The welfare of everyone involved in the making of our programmes is of paramount importance to us and appropriate psych support is available to all cast throughout their time with us and beyond."