Gemma Collins reveals she felt suicidal after split from James Argent

Tearful Gemma Collins admits she felt suicidal amid James Argent’s drug battle and discusses her struggle with self-harming – as viewers commend star’s ‘strength’ and ‘bravery’

  • The TOWIE star, 40, made the heart-wrenching confession during an appearance on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, which aired on ITV on Thursday night
  • She admitted that she hit rock bottom over Christmas in 2019, when Arg’s drug battles came to a head and he eventually went away to Thailand for treatment
  • On his return, home, further heartbreak followed, when TV personality Gemma endured a miscarriage at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown last spring
  • During the interview, which was filmed in September, Gemma said that despite everything that had happened between them she wouldn’t rule out a reunion
  • It has since been reported that they have reconciled, after six months apart 
  • Gemma also spoke about her experiences self-harming, confessing she would hurt herself as a ‘coping mechanism’ 
  • Following the painfully honest interview, Twitter was flooded with messages of support for the ‘brave’ star 
  • If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org 

Gemma Collins has revealed she felt suicidal as her on-off boyfriend James Argent’s battles with drug addiction destroyed their relationship at the end of 2019.

The TOWIE star, 40, sat down for an emotional interview for Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, which aired on ITV on Thursday night, and confessed that when Arg hit rock bottom over Christmas of that year, she considered taking her own life.

In the incredibly honest chat, she also spoke about suffering with her mental health earlier in life, admitting she used to self-harm. 

Emotional: Gemma Collins has revealed she felt suicidal as her on-off boyfriend James Argent’s battles with drug addiction destroyed their relationship at the end of 2019

As host Piers looked back over her tumultuous romance with James, 33, Gemma was seen shedding years as she said to him: ‘For anyone that ever thinks about taking drugs or trying it for one night, you can end up getting really addicted.

‘I was really happy with James. We did get on, but the drugs changed him as a person. I fought every day for three years to get him well.’

When prompted to discuss her lowest moment throughout their struggles, she admitted: ‘I have felt suicidal… I think when my relationship broke down with Arg, that affected me. I just thought, I don’t wanna be here anymore. I can’t take it.

‘Christmas was an all-time low. I saved his life three times. I had this insatiable love for him. I never wanted to give up on him.’

Battle: The couple have had an on-off relationship for several years, but Gemma admitted that James Argent’s drug battle truly crippled their romance. Pictured together in 2018

James would go on to seek treatment at the start of 2020, jetting off to Thailand to spend several weeks trying to kick his drink and drug habit once and for all. 

On his return, home, further heartbreak followed, when Gemma endured a miscarriage at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown last spring – news which took a toll on both her and James.

‘Definitely, I would have had the baby with James,’ Gemma insisted as she teared up at the memory of the ordeal. ‘I know obviously he’s had his struggles, but it is hard. 

‘There’s a lot of love there. The relationship turned very, very sour with James when he started to do drugs. James wouldn’t have deserted me.

‘You don’t dislike James when you meet him. What happened was, in March when he came home, obviously miscarriage, lockdown… around that time everything had come back for me. I couldn’t just sweep it under the carpet.’

Gemma, who branded James the ‘love of [her] life’, went on: ‘I can remember I was getting flashbacks, not realising how much had this had taken its toll on me. And I spoke with my therapist and she said, “You are suffering with PTSD.”‘ 

Heart-wrenching: The star got emotional as she spoke bout her relationship during an appearance on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories

Gemma also spoke about her experiences with self-harm, admitting she started when she was 20 years old after breaking up with her long-term boyfriend and being forced to terminate a pregnancy as doctors said the baby was ‘deformed’.

She recalled: ‘I was desperately unhappy. It’s shocking really, isn’t it? I’ve still got scars on my wrist that I can see now. That especially, I look at that now and I see it as a sign of how far I’ve come.’ 

Gemma continued: ‘It was like a release. It was a coping mechanism I think, but I am well out of it now, and I never tried to revisit that. 

‘I should have probably had therapy at the time, and I wouldn’t judge anyone – it can happen to anyone.’

Admiration: As Gemma spoke about her struggles, viewers took to Twitter in droves to express their admiration for the TV personality’s ‘strength’ and ‘bravery’

As Gemma spoke about her struggles, viewers took to Twitter in droves to express their admiration for the TV personality’s ‘strength’ and ‘bravery’.

Wrote one: ‘I knew very little about Gemma Collins but was moved & impressed by her honesty & courage. She seems to be a lovely person.’

Stated another: ‘#piersmorganlifestories #GemmaCollins watching this made my eyes leak, I have full admiration for Gemma & Piers…truly hope this lady finds peace & happiness, she thoroughly deserves it.’

‘Full admiration for #gemmacollins, I didn’t think I’d get so emotional watching her and piers Morgan,’ admitted a third viewer.

Meanwhile, another said: ‘#gemmacollins you are such a inspiration to many women including myself you have made me realise anything is possible I want to thank you.’ 

Miscarriage: Gemma also spoke about the miscarriage that she suffered in spring of last year


PTSD: The 40-year-old TV personality admitted she suffered from PTSD following her woes

Troubled James was taken to hospital for the second time in two months in 2019, after friends and family feared he had attempted a second ‘overdose’.

Paramedics rushed to his £1.3million home in South Woodford, Essex in December, where they found the star ‘disorientated’ shortly before friends – including Mark Wright – rallied around in a bid to help him get the support he needs.

Arg has battled drink and drug addiction since finding fame on TOWIE. In 2014 he was suspended from the show after he failed a routine drugs test.

James checked into The Priory and returned to the ITV reality show in 2015.

The TV star spent three months in a facility in Thailand over the festive season in 2016 in a bid to curb his addiction and revealed he checked himself in to a programme in order to get the ‘ongoing support’ he needed.

Harsh: Gemma also spoke out about how a celebrity agent told her she had the charisma to make it on TV, but needed to lose two stone first

In August 2019, Arg returned to rehab following a split from Gemma in a bid to tackle his demons.

By January of last year, he jetted off to Thailand for continued treatment, returning to the UK several weeks later to be reunited with Gemma. 

Gemma would then endure a heartbreaking miscarriage at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, before their relationship came crashing down by the summer.

Back in July, Gemma shared details of her split from Arg, including a barrage of abusive messages from the crooner, in which he sent horrendous slurs.

In the messages, Arg branded his girlfriend a ‘hippo’ and a ‘fat f**k’, after she suggested that he had bought another woman dinner and not her.

Career: In Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, which will air on ITV on Thursday, the TOWIE star, 40, discussed how at the age of 18 she tried to break into the showbiz industry

The series of texts began with Gemma saying: ‘What man pays for another woman!!!’ While Arg responded by saying: ‘Insensitive’. Clearly riled, Gemma said: ‘And the woman that saved your life has to pay for herself!!!’

Gemma’s next message was masked, but Arg replied saying: ‘You are supposed to be treating me you hippo.’ While Gemma simply responded telling him: ‘We’re over.’

Moments later Gemma shared another series of messages, where her ex-beau sent her a plane emoji in reply to a picture of flight details.

Gemma responded by saying: ‘I’ll take a mate, I’m not booking it. You said you would be a gentleman!’

Arg shockingly replied saying: ‘YOU FAT F**K. IVE JUST LOST ANOTHER 2000’. He didn’t refer to what he had lost 2000 of.

Throwback: Gemma said the agent ‘can eat her words’ as she talked about her rise to fame after Piers unearthed a clip of Gemma as a teenager on an ITV programme called Snobs

After posting the messages, Gemma decided to take some time off social media, stating that she was ‘devastated’ and ‘heartbroken’ by the exchange. 

However, the war of words between the longtime on-off pair appears to have been well and truly settled, as there have been sightings of them dining together since.

Elsewhere in her interview, Gemma spoke out about how a celebrity agent told her she had the charisma to make it on TV – but needed to lose two stone first. 

The TV personality discussed how, at the age of 18, she tried to break into the showbiz industry. 

Gemma said the agent ‘can eat her words’ as she talked about her rise to fame after Piers unearthed a clip of Gemma as a teenager on an ITV programme called Snobs. 

First TV appearance: As Piers brought up the footage from the 2000 series, which was about people who think they are a difference class, Gemma asked: ‘How did you get the footage?’

As Piers brought up the footage from the 2000 series, which was about people who think they are a difference class, Gemma asked: ‘How did you get the footage? Throughout my whole career, I’ve always been worried about that first programme.’

The host, 55, said: ‘You went to a TV agent to see if they would take you on. Do you remember what they said to you?’

When Gemma replied ‘no’, Piers told her: ‘She said that you “had the charisma but you were too fat to be on TV” and suggested you lose two stone.’

Gemma said ‘charming’ but defiantly told Piers: ‘Look where I am now honey? Yeah, well she can eat her words now. 

Cruel: Piers Morgan told Gemma her agent said she ‘”had the charisma but you were too fat to be on TV” and suggested you lose two stone’

‘But I never gave up and I think people admire that about me. Yeah, I have not been blessed with, you know, a Victoria’s Secret’s body but it’s my body and I love it. I am what I am.’ 

Speaking about the show Snobs, Gemma said: ‘How the producers put it to me was, “Look we’re going to need you for seven weeks. Basically, at the end of seven weeks we’ll give it a review.” 

‘So I thought, “right I’ve got seven weeks to make sure that I never, ever turn backwards” and at the end of the show that was it, signed, sealed and delivered.’

Piers told Gemma about how her first TV appearance gained her around 3,000 new Twitter followers, and went on to question the reality star about the abuse she received for starring on the show.   

‘It was hard; I’m not gonna lie, it was hard,’ she said. ‘There were times when fans would get online and say we hate you. I think one said, “get in your car and go and have a car crash. I wish you was dead.” 

The GC: Gemma said ‘charming’ but defiantly told Piers: ‘Look where I am now honey? Yeah, well she can eat her words now’

‘You have to get a very thick skin and I think that’s where the GC was created as well. 

‘There is no way, if you didn’t have a thick skin—and you will know this [Piers], that you will survive in this industry. It’s not for everyone I’ve been able to cope with it but there’s a lot of people I know that haven’t and it can ruin your life.’

Gemma eventually got her big break when she appeared on the 2011 series of TOWIE. 

At the time she was a car dealer but quickly found that her theatrical presence on the show made way for a number of dramatic storylines.

Thanks to her fame on the reality TV show, Gemma has made millions thanks to a successful business selling plus size clothing as well as appearances on Big Brother and I’m A Celebrity, and her own show Diva Forever.    

Tough cookie: ‘You have to get a very thick skin and I think that’s where the GC was created as well,’ Gemma said

However, Gemma revealed that her father is in full control of her finances, and limits her to a spending budget of £3,000 per month. 

The self-confessed millionaire said: ‘I’m a spender. My dad rung me up [and said], “It’s an absolute disgrace! You’ve spent £50 grand in two months up Knightsbridge. But the way I looked at it, it’s £1,000 a day over the course of two months… 

‘It was kind of like self-destruction in a way. And I’m pleased my dad took my card off me, because I’m telling you now, I would have ended up in trouble.’

And while Gemma revealed that she once earned £75,000 in paid Instagram posts in a single day, her dad still insists on every penny being accounted for 

If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org  

Character: Gemma eventually got her big break when she appeared on the 2011 series of TOWIE (pictured in 2014) 

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