Joey Essex has opened up about the death of his mother saying her suicide made him “tougher inside”.
The former Only Way Is Essex star, 29, discussed growing up without his mother in an episode of Channel 4’s reality army training show Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, which aired on Monday night.
“I believe I am tougher inside,” Essex told the show’s host, Ant Middleton when asked why he thought he had what it takes to succeed in the show. “Growing up wasn’t easy”.
Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins is a TV programme in which a group of celebrities take part in a gruelling SAS selection course for seven days.
Essex, who has appeared on I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here, was 10-years-old when his mother died.
“I had to deal with a lot of s**t. My mum committed suicide when I was 10 which was difficult,” Essex explained.
“It hardened me up a little bit. I can’t explain it. It’s made me tougher inside.”
Essex, who has been an ambassador for Child Bereavement UK since 2014, revealed that he couldn’t use the word “mum” until a few years ago.
He added: “I only sort of started being able to talk about it openly, saying the word mum three or four years ago.”
The reality TV star also suggested that his mother’s death has affected his relationships.
“I know my mum loved me. But it has given me trust issues. One day she was there one day she was gone.”
Many of Essex’s fans took to Twitter to show their support for the 29-year-old.
“Joey Essex has faced the toughest thing any kid could face, losing his mum to suicide, respect to the man!" one fan wrote.
Another added: “God I would of gone mad if Joey Essex had got cut, I was in bits listening to his story and he’s really surprised me you keep going your doing great [sic]".
A third said: “Joey Essex your mum would be so proud.. had a tear in my eye”.
If you live in the UK or Ireland and need help with your mental health you can contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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