Roxanne Pallett accused her Celebrity Big Brother co-star Ryan Thomas of punching her.
The pair – famous for their soap roles as Emmerdale’s Jo Sugden and Corrie’s Jason Grimshaw – were appearing on the Channel 5 reality series together and, in Thursday night’s (30th August) edition of the show, Thomas was seen throwing punches in Pallett’s direction as they crossed paths in the kitchen.
Afterwards, Pallett went into the bedroom to note that she had “just been beaten up by Corrie’s Jason Grimshaw”, before visiting the diary room and demanding to speak to producers.
“Something that’s just happened made me feel really uncomfortable,” she said. “I went from being in shock to angry now because a boy who’s punched me repeatedly, unprovoked, completely deliberate. He actually punched me like a boxer would punch a bag.”
However, her claims have been widely condemned, with many viewers accusing the actress of “making a mockery” out of domestic abuse. Footage of the alleged beating appears to show that Thomas mostly jabs away at the air around her in a seemingly playful display.
Nonetheless, Thomas was summoned to the diary room where he was given a formal warning for his behaviour. Unaware of Palletts’ take on events, he replied; “We both know and Roxanne knows there was no malice, hurt or anger in anything I did during this time. I am sorry and I understand.”
But the matter didn’t end there with Pallett paying further visits to the diary room to complain about Thomas, expressing her shock that he was being allowed to stay in the house, even refusing to sleep in the same bedroom as him.
She was granted permission to sleep elsewhere on Wednesday night as a result while Thursday’s house action – as seen during yesterday’s eviction show – saw the actress stick by her stance on what had happened.
Enraged viewers said that Pallett should be the one kicked off the show over her extreme reaction to the ‘play fight’ (prior to reports today, Saturday 1st September, that she has voluntarily left the series) while BBC News reports that some 11,215 complaints have poured into Ofcom about the episode.
“We are assessing these complaints against our broadcasting rules, before deciding whether or not to investigate,” a spokesperson for the regulator said.
Stars from both ITV soaps have come out in support of Thomas. Below a selection of tweets;
Utterly horrified at what @ryanjamesthomas is having to go through. I love this beautiful man so much and I know him inside out!Roxanne clearly has some major mental health issues and I hope she can get the help she needs. – Sue Cleaver
Can not believe what happened to @ryanjamesthomas … the kindest, most gentle man. His nickname from me was ‘Teddy Bear’ . A man who loves a hug and wears his heart on his sleeve . So gentle… this is OUTRAGEOUS. We love you Ry. – Catherine Tyldesley
I’ve just caught up on CelebBigBrother I honestly can’t believe what I have watched. @ryanjamesthomas Is like a brother to me and to see someone try and manipulate a situation towards him is so cruel , unnecessary and dangerous on so many levels!! TEAM RYAN ALWAYS. – Brooke Vincent
She. Is. Evil.
#cbb – Kelvin Fletcher
Roxanne’s a known, compulsive liar. Ryan wouldn’t harm a fly. Horrible, attention seeking little liar. Goes from being upset & in pain to dancing & drinking – to going bed, crying she can’t sleep in the same room as Ryan, to worrying about being nominated? You be the judge. – Danny Miller
Finally the general public are privy to what those of us unfortunate enough to work with her in the past already knew. @ryanjamesthomas is a lovely chap. – Daniel Brocklebank
So, all of Roxanne’s social media has been deleted. Says a lot to me. I’ve woken up this morning furious for @ryanjamesthomas and all the women who actually do suffer from abuse. It’s not normal behaviour and there needs to be consequences. – Charley Webb
In response to Webbs’ tweet Sammy Winward cryptically said, “It’s been a long time coming.”
Breaking out of maternity leave for a second to say how lovely @ryanjamesthomas is. Oh I wish I’d have had a soapbox this week.. well I know who I’m voting for now. – Emmerdale writer Sharon Marshall
Ryan’s brother Scott also took to Twitter to criticise Pallett describing her “drama queen” behaviour as “dangerous” while Sam Attwater, a theatre co-star of Roxanne, said that he was glad her “true personality” was coming out.
“I don’t engage with CBB but I can’t let what just happened pass. What Roxanne did in alleging domestic violence (which we saw for ourselves) & persuading producers to warn Ryan set back immense work done by DV charities in raising awareness. She clearly has issues & needs help.” – Nazir Afzal, Ex Chief Crown Prosecutor