Big Brother star slams show and claims it ruined her life after she dropped to just six stone

Former Big Brother contestant Laura Carter has slammed her time on the show and revealed that she lost six stone after appearing in season 17.

Laura, who was engaged to Emmerdale actor Anthony Lewis from 2007 to 2014, dubbed her time on the show as “the darkest, lonliest time.”

Laura, 37, made the dramatic announcement in a lengthy YouTube video posted last week that has since garnered over 6k views.

The actress believes that the season’s “paranoia” theme ultimately led to her downfall and left her fighting against Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as PTSD.

"We didn't know that was the theme. It was a real mind f***. I had no idea and neither did anyone else. It was like being in a living nightmare,” she said.

One task during the season called for the housemates to dress up as scarecrows who were subsequently attacked by human “crows” throwing custard and mud.

She continued: "It was really degrading, horrible things and it was always me.

"I went into the toilet after and was wiping everything off me and I thought, 'The public hate me, they want to humiliate me'. And I did feel humiliated.

"It's like this switch went inside of me and it was like self-destruct mode. I'd been pushed into this corner, I felt like there was no hope for me. I was made to feel everyone hated me. That's when my behaviour with Marco ensued."

Laura referred to fellow contestant Marco Pierre White Jr, the son of legendary chef Marco Pierre White, who was engaged to Kim Melville-Smith during his time on the show.

Despite his looming engagement, Marco pursued Laura and said his relationship was an open one despite the engagement being called off following the reality show.

Laura added: "After having therapy and talking about what I did, I've come to realise it was almost like a mask I'd put up to protect myself and my feelings. I lost all self worth. I forgot that my family were watching, my friends were watching."

Before the show, which also included the infamous Andrew Tate as a housemate, Laura had worked on London’s West End as an actress and hostess.

Her agent urged her not to go on the show, but despite the insistence, Laura went anyways and underwent "months of psychiatric testing.”

After being eliminated on day 46, Lauren found herself jobless and living alone after her housemate moved out.

She recalled: "I just remember lying on the kitchen floor with my head in my hands not knowing what to do with myself.

"I'd sit in silence – I had nothing left to give. It was the darkest, loneliest time of my life.

"I realised my life was not going to go back to how it was. Even clubs I worked in didn't want me back.

"My life changed but it literally ruined my life. It ruined it."

Laura eventually moved back to Leeds with her family and welcomed her first kid, Jaxon, with her partner Tony in 2018.

But even then, two years after her stint on the show, Laura was still hounded by the experience.

She explained: "When Jax was about 18 months old, I started suffering from insomnia. I started having nightmares when I could actually fall asleep, I was having nightmares of being watched.

"I was racked with anxiety, I had anger issues. Even the tiniest thing someone would say to me, I'd blow up. It's like I was a pressure cooker about to blow at any point.

"I was also horrendously thin, I didn't realise that I was so thin until my mum said, 'I'm really worried about you now'."

As such, her weight dropped to just 6.7st, which she said: “Was a real physical effect of what had happened to me mentally.

"I'd tried to block it all out, I'd tried to get on with my life but was seeing how mentally damaged I was."

A therapist even told her: “You've been suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, you have been through so much and it's come out in a physical way. You are mentally damaged from what has happened.”

Thankfully, Laura is in a much better place now after seeking therapy and working with a personal trainer to become healthier.

She concluded: "I feel like I was really taken advantage of.

"As much as the producers were doing their job, all this process was to see how I would react to things.

"The minute the show finished, that was it. It was like, 'See ya'. And it was all left for me to deal with."

Now Laura feels "okay" with sharing her story.

OK! has contacted Big Brother for comment.


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