ITV accused of ‘hypocrisy’ after launching domestic violence campaign despite CBB contestant’s conviction

Kate Middleton’s uncle pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting his wife in 2017

Maira Butt
Wednesday 06 March 2024 12:10 GMT
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Kate's uncle Gary describes Meghan as 'stick in the spokes' of royal family

ITV has been accused of “hypocrisy” after the broadcaster launched its latest Loose Women campaign for domestic violence.

The initiative, called Facing It Together, featured eight of the show’s panelists in a photoshoot and short film with the tag line: “Whether you are a survivor or a friend, we are facing it together.”

But the channel has been facing growing backlash after Kate Middleton’s uncle, Gary Goldsmith, entered the Celebrity Big Brother house on Monday (5 March).

The Duchess of Cambridge’s uncle was fined £5,000 and given a community order after admitting to assaulting his wife in a drunken argument in which she accused him of taking drugs.

Goldsmith, now 58, knocked Julie-Ann Goldsmith to the ground outside their home in Wimpole Street, central London, at around 1.20am on 13 October 2017.

He was sentenced at Westminster Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to one count of assault by beating.

One angry viewer said: “This is how International Women’s Day in a few days will be celebrated on ITV by promoting both Kate’s Uncle Gary... on CBBUK and the Facing It Together campaign! Hypocrisy and lip service at their finest”.

Women’s Aid released a statement following his entry into the Big Brother house, accusing ITV of “a lack of awareness” of domestic abuse.

Kate Middleton’s uncle Gary Goldsmith describes first time he met Prince William.
Kate Middleton’s uncle Gary Goldsmith describes first time he met Prince William. (GB News/ITV)

A spokeswoman for the charity said: “The decision to include a man who has been charged, and pleaded guilty to, assaulting his wife, in the Celebrity Big Brother house demonstrates the lack of awareness that the production team has when it comes to survivors of domestic abuse.

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“The producers should consider how Gary Goldsmith’s appearance will impact women who have survived domestic abuse and how they will feel watching him on TV every night.

“At Women’s Aid, we would urge the producers to consider how they approach this, as for many survivors of abuse, the inclusion of men convicted of abuse in entertainment programmes will already be a sign that these crimes are not taken seriously the entertainment industry has to consider the impact on women of who they give a platform to and derive entertainment value from.”

Goldsmith arriving at Westminster Magistrate’s Court
Goldsmith arriving at Westminster Magistrate’s Court (PA Archive)

During his sentencing in 2017, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot described him as being a “nasty drunk”, adding: “You were making your way by taxi.

“Both had been drinking and the taxi driver listened as you argued. Your wife accused you of taking drugs and leaving her alone for most of the evening.

“You called her a nothing and w****.”

Goldsmith was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 20 sessions of a rehabilitation order requirement.

He was also fined £5,000 and ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge, and £85 towards prosecution costs.

Ahead of his entry into the house, Goldsmith said he was eager to change perceptions of him, “I think I’m portrayed as this sort of villain character and I’m not. So it’d be nice to show the other side of Mr GG.”

The Independent have approached ITV for comment.

The national domestic abuse helpline offers support for women on 0808 2000 247, or you can visit the Refuge website. There is a dedicated men’s advice line on 0808 8010 327. Those in the US can call the domestic violence hotline on 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Other international helplines can be found via www.befrienders.org

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