Ex-MAFS star Gemma Rose accuses show of ‘using her trauma’ to pair her with incompatible partner
FormerMarried At First Sight UK (MAFSUK) participant Gemma Rose has accused the show’s producers of using her “trauma against her” to get her to “unravel” on television.
The 31-year-old mother-of-two was paired up with Matt Murray during her appearance on the seventh series of the show, which aired last year.
However, the pair proved to be a bad match as they consistently got into arguments and disagreed with one another over a number of things. The on-screen relationship ended after Murray began an affair with another participant, Whitney Hughes.
In a new interview with The Sun, Rose opened up about going through counselling before taking part on the show, but believes it was used against her to pair her up with someone incompatible.
She revealed that she and the counsellors spoke about her “very negative childhood” and events that led to her adult life.
“I was very proud to say to the counsellor that I’d put them in a box and it was like it was someone else’s story, and she said, ‘You’re suffering from trauma’.”
Rose claimed that she sought reassurance that she was ready to go on MAFS UK, and was promised by the counsellors that she would be “fine” and they would “look after” her.
“That’s obviously not true,” she said on reflection. “They just think, ‘Oh, someone weak and we can pick all those bits that they want to change about themselves, and we can let that unravel on television knowing that we’re going to give them the ultimate challenge’.”
Rose also revealed that she had been struggling with excessive alcohol consumption before the show, and when she started filming, there was “just more alcohol than I’ve ever seen” being served.
“We had decanters and the production would be pouring six bottles and we’d all be like, ‘Get as much wine as possible!” she recalled.
“When I first went into the experiment, two weeks later than everyone else, I was sat at the table next to Thomas [Hartley] and he said, ‘Pour a glass of red and a glass of white and you’ll see what I mean in a minute;, and it was gone.”
Last year, Rose told the Daily Mail that she told producers she “didn’t feel safe in the experiment” due to Murray’s “aggressive” body language, but felt her concerns were left ignored.
“I did find him at times quite scary,” she said. “I told [the producers] I didn’t feel safe and I should have been removed a few times in that instance. I felt very vulnerable as it was.”
She said that while the producers checked on participants “multiple times a day, which was great”, it “wasn’t enough considering the toxic environment that we were in”.
A Channel 4 spokesperson told The Independent: “All individuals taking part in MAFS UK have been deemed suitable to take part by an independent clinical psychologist and after being cast all contributors have the ability to stay in or leave the process at any stage.
“Contributor care and wellbeing is of paramount importance and appropriate support is available to contributors before, during and after broadcast. During filming, alcohol consumption is at the discretion of individuals, but it is monitored and limited by the production team.
“All broadcast episodes of MAFS UK are a fair and accurate reflection of the events that took place. While not every contributor finds lasting love in the MAFS process, many have a positive and enriching experience and the UK franchise has brought together couples who remain in committed relationships and have started families.”