Jade Goody believed that she contracted terminal cancer as punishment for her race row with Shilpa Shetty.
The reality star was caught in a media frenzy when she was accused of being ‘racist’ towards Shilpa during the 2007 series of Celebrity Big Brother, and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer the following year.
Jade, who died in 2009 at the age of 27, has been remembered in a new Channel 4 documentary that will air this week, with those who knew her discussing the star’s initial fall from grace and her legacy in raising awareness of cervical cancer.
Punishment: Jade Goody believed that she contracted terminal cancer as punishment for her race row with Shilpa Shetty (pictured together on Celebrity Big Brother in 2007)
A former dental nurse, Jade sprang to overnight fame on Big Brother in 2002, with her success seeing her invited back onto the show five years later to take part in the Celebrity version, alongside her mother Jackiey Budden and boyfriend Jack Tweed.
During her time in the house she formed a friendship with Danielle Lloyd and Jo O’Meara, but the trio were accused of bullying fellow housemate Shilpa.
Ofcom received 44,500 complaints from the public – a record at the time – with the trio accused of making racist remarks by referring to her as ‘Shilpa F***awalla’ and ‘Shilpa Poppadom’, among other comments.
Such was the scandal at the time that although Shilpa did not lodge an official complaint about racist behaviour with Big Brother, her allegations compelled police to investigate the possible classification of her treatment as ‘racial hatred’.
Looking back: Jade, who died in 2009 at the age of 27, has been remembered in a new Channel 4 documentary that will air this week
Discussing the controversy in the new documentary, Jade’s mother Jackiey revealed the reality star was convinced that she developed cancer as a result of her CBB stint.
According to The Sun: Jackiey recalled: ‘One night she felt really scared because, obviously, she knew she was going very soon.
‘She said, “Mum I feel like they’re coming to get me. They’re coming to get me. It’s going all dark”.
‘She said, “Is that because I was so bad in Big Brother?”‘
Downward spiral: Jade joined her mother Jackiey Budden and boyfriend Jack Tweed for a stint on Celebrity Big Brother in 2007 (pictured with Davina McCall)
Big Brother host Davina McCall also appears in the documentary, reports The Mirror, and recounts the moment she realised Jade’s popularity had waned.
She explained: ‘I felt such enormous joy at Jade’s popularity. Then, “Oh my God, what happened? How can it all turn in a nanosecond? She’s now become the most hated girl in Britain?”‘
Discussing how she felt before Jade’s infamous eviction interview – in which there was no studio audience for the star’s protection – Davina added: ‘It was a bit like knowing you’re about to ruin someone’s life forever, but they don’t know it yet. Ooof.’
Amends: Jade was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 while she was appearing on the Indian version of Big Brother in a bid to make amends for the race row
Jade was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 while she was appearing on the Indian version of Big Brother in a bid to make amends for the race row.
After her diagnosis, Jade’s cancer spread to her bowel, liver and groin and she died on Mother’s Day in March 2009.
She left behind two sons, Bobby and Freddy, now 15 and 14, who are cared for by their father and Jade’s ex, Jeff Brazier.
In the year of Jade’s very public battle with cancer, just as attendance at screenings was beginning to decline, 0.4 million extra attendances occurred.
Jade’s Legacy was a campaign set up to echo her call for more women to go for screening.
Happier times: A former dental nurse, Jade sprang to overnight fame on Big Brother in 2002, with her success seeing her invited back onto the show five years later
Now 10 years on from her death, the three-part Channel 4 documentary is set to look at her life both in and out of the spotlight.
The series is directed by award winning film maker Rob Coldstream, who said of the late star: ‘Jade was a hugely charismatic personality.
‘She made an indelible impact on our culture – and her incredible life story holds up a mirror to many of the big themes and preoccupations of our time – from fame and celebrity to race and gender politics.’
Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain starts on Wednesday at 9pm on Channel 4
Tragic loss: Jade’s cancer spread to her bowel, liver and groin and she died on Mother’s Day in March 2009. She left behind two sons, Bobby and Freddy, now 15 and 14