Pete Bennett has hit back at Imogen Thomas after she accused him of betraying their late Big Brother housemate Nikki Grahame by sharing her final text.
Grahame – who dated Bennett after they met on the Channel 4 reality show in 2006 – died this month aged 38 following a long battle with anorexia.
The move apparently angered Thomas, who posted a message on her Instagram Story saying Bennett was “cashing in at every opportunity”.
“I can’t keep quiet any longer. I can’t stand to read another sold story by Pete Bennett,” she wrote. “You Pete have no shame with your endless stories about Nikki. You saw her once within a year, took a haunting photo of her, put it up on Instagram against everyone’s wishes claiming you helped her."
"Selling last texts is the ultimate betrayal," she added.
Watch: Pete Bennett shares the final text he received from Nikki Grahame
However, Bennett has insisted he “didn’t sell anything” and accused Thomas of trying to “publicly shame” him.
Sharing a photo of him and Grahame from their Big Brother days, Bennett wrote on Instagram: “In such a sad time of grief I’ve just had to witness Imogen Thomas trying to publicly shame me on her Instagram. You know, ‘Nikki’s best friend’. I’m sorry but how cruel can you get?
“Now, About selling the final text, I didn’t sell anything, my tribute to Nikki in heat mag was from the heart and for no money and I sent love to Nikki's family and friends in it too.”
Bennett said Grahame gave him permission to upload the final picture of them, and pointed out that he added a link to the fundraiser for her care underneath it.
The star said although he and Grahame may not have seen as much of each other in her last year as they used to, they were “always in contact” and that when he discovered how unwell she was he “did everything I could to be there for her”.
“Get over it Imogen, I was Nikki’s friend and leave me the f*** alone to grieve,” he said.
Bennett signed off by saying that he’d had enough of “fake people and bullies”.
“Love you Nikki,” he ended his message.
Graham passed away on Friday 9 April.
It was recently revealed that an internal investigation has been launched into her death at the hospital where she had been treated up until the day before she died.
Watch: Nikki Grahame's fans donate £70k to help cover funeral costs