Roxanne Pallett has broken her silence in the wake of Celebrity Big Brother’s so-called ‘punchgate’, apologising to fellow contestant Ryan Thomas for accusing him of deliberately hurting her during a tussle in the house.
Speaking to Jeremy Vine on his new self-titled Channel 5 show, Pallett said “I got it wrong, I really got it wrong”.
Asked by Vine whether she had been hurt by Thomas’s apparently playful punches at her torso, most of which appeared not to have touched her, the former Emmerdale star said: “At the time it hurt but when I looked at that footage as soon as I left the house – because the first thing I did was view that clip – I got it wrong, I really got it wrong.”
Asked why she had been in tears while talking to Big Brother in the Diary Room following the incident, she added: “After it happened, I just felt like – I don’t know how to explain it other than, my mind ran away with me. I am a sensitive person, my family and friends can vouch for that, and everything in that house becomes so heightened – a look, a comment, an action, your insecurities are heightened, your sensitivity – and all I can say, or the only thing I can explain it with, is in the moment it felt worse than it was. I can’t prove a feeling, I can’t show you a feeling.”
Pallett apologised to ex-Coronation Street actor Thomas for having put him through an ordeal which has clearly affected him very negatively.
Thomas received a formal warning from Big Brother following the incident, and was later reduced to tears himself. Many viewers were outraged by the decision and by Pallett’s behaviour, with some suggesting her reaction belittled the experiences of those who have suffered from domestic violence.
“I massively apologise, to not just Ryan, to his family, his friends, his fans, to every single person that watched that and completely justifiably saw an over-reaction to what wasn’t a malicious act,” she said. “In that moment, because I am sensitive and I was emotional, I mistook what was playful and he did apologise for it and he did say his ring caught me.
“It was the word ‘deliberate’ that I regret because I doubted his intention and there was no malicious intention behind that and that’s what I apologise for because I shouldn’t have questioned his motivation. I got it wrong.”
But while refusing to excuse her actions, the actress suggested that her own history of abuse had made her “over-sensitive” to certain situations.
“I have actually been a victim of domestic violence, years ago,” she said. “I’ve spoken out about it briefly. I work with [domestic abuse charity] Women’s Aid because of my own experience, and perhaps they were right in their recent comment that my reaction was perhaps a telltale sign of the fact that I have been in a situation like that and in my life I have become conditioned – I’m over-sensitive to certain things because of things like that.
“But I’m devastated, I would be mortified to think that even one person out there felt that I had discredited or undermined abuse, because that was not my intention.
“All I can say is that in that moment, my emotions and my thought process was greater than the situation and looking back I absolutely over-reacted. I was out of order. I got it wrong.”