Lauren Goodger confirms she's STILL in touch with ex Joey Morrisson and says she'll 'protect' him after his release from jail

The former Towie star, 31, said she wants to "protect" her former flame ahead of his release later this year, after dropping a series of hints that the pair are back on.

"Joey and I are still in touch, which I have never denied," she wrote in her Now magazine column.

She added: "For now, he is focused on coming out and after such a long time I want to protect him so I'm not discussing him or our situation. People have to respect that."

Lauren raised eyebrows last week when she showed off a number plate that was personalised with Joey's name while driving around Essex in her Mercedes.

But the reality star has insisted the move was "no big deal", revealing she only changed her plates to save her ex from being fined.

She wrote: "The number plate thing seems like a big deal but it's not. They were ordered ages ago and not being used so I decided to put them on my new car to save him from being fined for not using them and – let's be honest – it's a wicked plate!"

The move came shortly after The Sun Online revealed that Lauren has gone into business with Joey.

The pair are both listed as "people with significant control" – owning 50 per cent each of the company, which is called LJM Management.

Joey’s sister Charlotte is also a company director, according to Companies House.

The new name seemed to hint that Joey could move into management – maybe even of Lauren's celeb career – when he gets out of prison.

Joey and an accomplice, Marvin Russell Jacobs, were handed 16-year prison sentences for a string of violent drugs-related charges.

The pair, both 24 at the time of sentencing, were convicted of numerous offences, including possession of a firearm, kidnapping, blackmail and actual bodily harm.

Morrisson and Jacobs were caught after forensic examinations linked objects left at the scene of a crime to the pair.

When Morrisson was arrested, in September 2009, he was found in possession of £10,000 in cash and £60,000 worth of cocaine.

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