Women’s Aid condemns Celebrity Big Brother’s decision to include Gary Goldsmith

Women’s Aid has criticised Celebrity Big Brother’s decision to include Kate Middleton’s uncle Gary Goldsmith as a contestant on the show.

In 2017, Goldsmith was fined and given a community order after admitting he had assaulted his wife in a drunken argument in which she accused him of taking drugs.

It comes as the businessman and podcast host is set to be put up for the public vote by fellow housemate Sharon Osbourne in Wednesday’s episode of the ITV1 series.

The national charity, working to end domestic abuse against women and children, said the inclusion of men who have been convicted of abuse in an entertainment setting is a sign to survivors that such crimes “are not taken seriously”.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “The decision to include a man who has been charged, and pleaded guilty to, assaulting his wife, in the Celebrity Big Brother house demonstrates the lack of awareness that the production team has when it comes to survivors of domestic abuse.

“The producers should consider how Gary Goldsmith’s appearance will impact women who have survived domestic abuse and how they will feel watching him on TV every night.

“At Women’s Aid we would urge the producers to consider how they approach this, as for many survivors of abuse, the inclusion of men convicted of abuse in entertainment programmes will already be a sign that these crimes are not taken seriously – the entertainment industry has to consider the impact on women of who they give a platform to and derive entertainment value from.”

A Big Brother spokesperson said: “All housemates undertake training in language and behaviour before entering the Big Brother house.

“All behaviour in the house is strictly monitored at all times.”

An apology provided by the broadcaster on his behalf said: “I’m not perfect and I made a mistake, a personal row seven years ago which was publicly exposed that I’ve worked endlessly for seven years to put right. The offence is long since spent however my regret continues.”

The reality series launched on Monday night, following on from the success of the 2023 series of Big Brother which returned five years after it was axed by Channel 5 amid a ratings slump in 2018.

Hosts AJ Odudu and Will Best welcomed the contestants who include TV presenter Fern Britton, Coronation Street star Colson Smith and Strictly Come Dancing professional Nikita Kuzmin.

Former X Factor judges Osbourne, 71, and Louis Walsh were the first to enter and they were given a special mission to spy on the celebrities.

Osbourne then chose the three housemates, who made the “worst first impression”, to put in the “danger zone” and decided on Goldsmith, TV presenter Zeze Millz and Ibiza Weekender star David Potts.

During Wednesday’s episode, the housemates will gather in the living areas while Osbourne sits in the diary room to reveal that she has put up Goldmsith for the public vote.

In a teaser clip, Goldsmith can be heard telling Osbourne: “It does bother me about what public perception of me is.

“The black sheep of the royal family.

“If I can show people that I’m not that person and I’ve really put myself out there cause this isn’t my world.

“And ultimately I’m not a celebrity. I don’t want to be a celebrity. I don’t want to go down that path.”

Celebrity Big Brother continues at 9pm on ITV1, ITVX, STV and STV Player.

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