MAFS star slams show for ‘using her vulnerability to make good TV’

MAFS: Gemma and Matt come to blows in episode teaser

Gemma Rose Barnes, 31, appeared in the 2022 series of Married At First Sight UK where she was unsuccessfully paired with Matt Murray. She has now slammed the producers, claiming they “used her vulnerability to create fantastic television”.

In a new interview, the mother-of-two discussed the show’s selection process, alleging: “I had the counselling, we discussed my childhood, which was a very negative childhood, and discussed the things that led up to my adult life.

“I was very proud to say to the counsellor that I’d put them in a box and it was like it was someone else’s story, and she said, ‘You’re suffering from trauma’.”

Gemma claimed to The Sun that she sought reassurance as to whether she should be going on the show, to which counsellors allegedly promised that she would be “fine” and they would “look after” her.

Behind the scenes, Gemma, who was adopted, was struggling with a three-year-long battle with alcohol addiction which at her worst saw her drinking a bottle of wine at 11am.

While she is now sober and in a “much better place”, she says during filming there was “more alcohol than I’ve ever seen”.

In a previous interview with MailOnline, Gemma said that “welfare was fantastic in the sense that they came to see you multiple times a day, which was great”.

However, she felt that “wasn’t enough considering the toxic environment that we were in and I don’t cope well with that”.

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Responding to Gemma’s claims, a Channel 4 spokesperson said: “All individuals taking part in MAFS UK have been deemed suitable to take part by an independent clinical psychologist and after being cast all contributors have the ability to stay in or leave the process at any stage.

“Contributor care and wellbeing is of paramount importance and appropriate support is available to contributors before, during and after broadcast.

“During filming, alcohol consumption is at the discretion of individuals, but it is monitored and limited by the production team.

“All broadcast episodes of MAFS UK are a fair and accurate reflection of the events that took place.”

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