Clare Verrall, who appeared on season two of MAFS in 2016, is set to reveal “the very dark side” of the TV show in an interview with Channel 7’s Sunday Night this weekend.
In a teaser released by Channel 7, Verrall says: “I just wanted a love story and I thought this was that way it was going to happen. I didn’t sign up to have my life completely ripped to shreds.”
The former reality contestant adds, “Someone is going to die. That someone was very nearly me.”
Verrall was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder when she signed up for MAFS after being attacked on a street in 2015.
On the reality show she was matched with Jono Pitman, who the Herald Sun revealed was ordered to complete an anger-management course after admitting assault and recklessly causing injury to a man in a 2008 bar brawl.
“I was very disappointed that, knowing my history of PTSD after a violent attack and knowing I had joined the show earnestly trying to put myself out there to find love, the show and psychologists partnered me with someone who had known anger management issues and who has been arrested for violent behaviour,” Verrall told the Herald Sun in 2016.
Verrall claims she suffered from anxiety and panic attacks after the reality show aired and tried twice to end her life.
The former MAFS contestant took to Instagram yesterday to explain why she’s decided to speak out on Sunday Night.
“I have to admit, I’m so anxious for this to screen as I know I’m going to be raked over the coals again by trolls,” Verrall wrote.
“I didn’t say anything bad about my match Jono as he, like me was just one of their puppets. I earnestly wish him nothing but happiness.
“My beef is with @channel9 as the situation they put us both into was very damaging, particularly for me as I went on the show right after a experiencing a major trauma, resulting in me developing PTSD which they were aware of.
“I want to get the message out though that as these shows become more & more SUPER-SIZED, the absolute lack of duty of care for the cast all in the name of ratings is horrific.
“Viewers should know that as soon as the network have made their money from you, the network simply kicks you to the kerb leaving you to scramble around in the dirt, trying desperately to piece your life back together.”
MAFS was another ratings hit for Channel 9 this year, but Verrall wants viewers to stop tuning into reality shows.
“What will it take for Australia to wake up to what we are watching & therefore supporting?” Verrall wrote. “Does someone have to die first???
“I only agreed to do this rather intimidating interview so people can get a peek behind the fake glitz into the very dark side of some ‘reality TV’ shows and decide if they want to continue to support having these shows like this on the air.”
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Sunday Night airs at 8.30pm on Channel 7
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