An appearance on reality television and the promise of ’15 minutes of fame’ may seem like the opportunity of a lifetime to some.
But for many people that have lived such a dream, it’s rare they’ll look back at their time in the spotlight as anything but a nightmare.
Speaking to Adelaide Mix 102.3’s Jodie & Soda on Monday, one Australian reality TV whistleblower revealed how their traumatic experience had ruined their life.
Trauma: An anonymous Australian reality TV whistleblower has lifted the lid on the secrets that producers DON’T want you to know. Pictured: Married At First Sight 2019 stars
The man, who spoke under strict conditions of anonymity and with his voice disguised to protect his identity, compared his time filming the show to being in prison.
He did not reveal what program he starred on, or what network the show aired on.
‘We were unable to listen to radio or TV or talk to anyone [on the outside],’ he explained.
‘We were allowed one phone call for 10 minutes while filming over Christmas, [but] producers listened to it. It’s like prison, that’s how I refer to it.’
Regret: Speaking to Adelaide Mix 102.3’s Jodie & Soda (pictured) on Monday, the former reality star compared his time filming the show to being in prison
Strict conditions: ‘We were allowed one phone call for 10 minutes while filming over Christmas [but] producers listened to it,’ he explained. Pictured: The cast of Big Brother 4 in 2004
The former star then accused the show-provided psychologists of being there only to serve producers’ commands, with little regard for the contestants.
‘I really do think that the main part of the psychologists was to talk to the producers and help them get reactions from us, rather than supporting us,’ he said.
He then explained that in their pieces-to-camera, where stars would recap events in filmed interviews after they’d happened, they were told to lie.
‘Producers would say what they want us to say and in what way,’ he said.
‘Short of being handed a script, we were told to say certain things. There was definitely a lot of lying. I felt in my show there was a lot of set-ups to alienate people.’
Shock: The former star then accused the show-provided psychologists of being there only to serve producers’ commands, with little regard for the contestants. Pictured: The Bachelorette 2017 cast and Sophie Monk
The scorned star went on to explain that he found himself at the centre of a huge scandal that rocked Australia during his time on the show.
‘The producer came in to see me and said they have to get rid of me. But told me to hang around for a couple of days so they could film it,’ he explained.
‘I was told I’d be evicted and I’d have no chance of winning… but I had to wait for the film crew to come back. I had to stay in lockdown for two days.’
No going back: The whistleblower said that after his scandal aired, he lost his job, girlfriend and suffered with mental health problems issues for years. Pictured: The Mix 102.3 team
‘Short of being handed a script, we were told to say certain things… there was a lot of lying,’ he added he was told what to say while filming. Pictured: Big Brother season 7 cast in 2007
Once he returned home and the shocking scenes aired across the country weeks later, he said his life fell apart.
‘I couldn’t regain my employment with my employers. [The network] continued to make money off me and I had to support myself,’ he said, while starting to cry.
‘When it all came out I really struggled with employment, my family… I also struggled with the love interest I had before the show. We split up.’
He then went on to explicitly state that his scandal that aired across Australia, and painted him as a villain, was not an accurate representation of what happened.
But unfortunately, he was unable to speak out and defend himself due to the contract he had signed before appearing on the show.
‘I was told straight away it’d be $50,000 upfront to take on the network,’ he explained, after seeking legal help to try and break his silence.
Edited: He went on to explicitly state that his scandal that aired, and painted him as a villain, was not truthful to what actually happened. Pictured: The Bachelor cast in 2019
Discussing his experience further, the insider concluded: ‘We’re all naive, we all think that by being on TV it’ll be everything, but I got nothing but pain from it.
‘Would I do it again? Straight out no. You’d be better off going to prison. At least people can see you and you’d have that support.
‘I was on that show for three months, and one bad turn and all of a sudden I’m the evil villain.’
Discussing his experience further, the insider added: ‘We’re all naive… but I got nothing but pain from it’. Pictured: The cast of Australian Survivor 2019