Gemma Collins skipped most of her Dancing On Ice rehearsals last week – despite branding press reports of her laziness and diva behaviour “fake news”.
Her DoI professional partner Matt Evers broke his silence this morning, just hours after Gemma’s furious live showdown with judge Jason Gardiner on last night’s show.
After receiving criticism from all four of the judges that Gemma and Matt’s Marilyn Monroe-inspired routine lacked actual skating content, Matt admitted they didn’t do enough preparation before their big number.
First and foremost I will defend Jason, yeah. There wasn’t a lot of content, I didn’t have a lot of rehearsal time with her this week, so he was absolutely correct,” he told Jamie Theakston and Lucy Horobin on today’s Heart Breakfast.
But Matt did also defend Gemma from Jason’s criticism, insisting she did have a tough week and was left devastated by some of his comments in the press.
“Thursday a story came out saying she was a ‘disgrace to humanity’,” Matt explained.
“ITV came to us, as she was really upset by it, to say that it came from Jason himself. It sounds like [he has been selling stories on her].”
Gemma herself admitted on the show that she hadn’t been to many rehearsals last week, claiming she was too upset to learn the routine.
“It’s been a hell of a week, I think it’s really knocked my confidence so haven’t been able to get too much done because I’ve been so upset,” she told Holly Willoughby and Phillip Scofield.
“But I enjoyed it tonight, I had fun and that’s what I come out to do.”
The judges weren’t the only ones to notice Gemma was missing from vital practice sessions – even fellow celebrity contestant Saira Khan slammed Gemma’s absence on Loose Women today.
Gemma has had a stressful week and I do believe comments in the newspapers have not played in her favour,” she told her fellow panelists.
“She has been very upset and missed rehearsals and opportunities to skate this week.”
The contestants are expected to rehearse every day, with gruelling fitness regimes both on and off the ice.
But Gemma is yet to reveal whether she’s gone to a rehearsal today, after saying last night that she wants to win the show.