Ex-girlfriend petitions against abuser Justin Lee Collins appearing on Celebrity Big Brother


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The Independent Culture

The former girlfriend of Justin Lee Collins - whom he was convicted of harassing - is petitioning against suggestions that the comedian and presenter could appear on Celebrity Big Brother in January.

In October Collins was convicted of harassment and causing fear of violence against his former girlfriend Anna Larke, 38.

Last week it was reported that Collins, 38, is thinking over a £100,000 deal to appear on the reality television show Celebrity Big Brother.

Speaking to the BBC today Larke said it would "trivialise domestic abuse" if Collins were to take part in the television show.

But Channel 5, which hosts the series, said it would not confirm housemates prior to broadcast on 3 January.

During court proceedings Collins denied charges that he verbally and physically abused his PR executive girlfriend.

But he was found guilty by a jury of “a campaign of abuse” and sentenced to 140 hours of unpaid work as part of an 18-month community order.

In response to reports about Collins and Celebrity Big Brother, Larke said:"The whole idea is just tacky and irreverent. I don't think he should go on the show and be given the chance to talk about what happened - it's wrong.”

She added: "People who have read about his abuse won't believe they are seeing him on TV - but it will get people watching. He's got that massive forum in front of millions of people."

Larke has enlisted the help of her brother Alex to start a petition against Collins appearing on Big Brother.

The petition states: "Justin Lee Collins is a convicted domestic abuser and a bully who put my sister through a sustained campaign of emotional abuse."

Last week a Channel 5 source told The Mirror: “[Collins] has done wrong but he has done his community service and going on the show could be the break he needs.”

“People will be able to see him 24/7 and see what he is really like and then make up their minds if he has changed.”

Collins’ agent could not be reached for comment.