This year’s celebrity big brother was set to be a flop: between view count heavy weight Stormy Daniels dropping out and the questionable contestant choices for this year’s show, viewers were changing the channel in droves. The opening episode attracted only two million viewers, one million less than the increasingly popular Love Island.
Scandal launched Big Brother back into the public consciousness when Rodrigo Alves repeatedly used a racial slur. Despite Big Brother giving Alves a formal warning, Ofcom still received 1,000 complaints from furious viewers.
By far the biggest viewer draw of this season is the 35 year old actor Roxanne Pallett, who is perhaps best known for her previous role on Emmerdale. Unsatisfied with the eyebrows she raised by flirting with fellow housemate Ben Jardine, Pallett (who is engaged to Lee Walton) accused Ryan Thomas of maliciously and vindictively punching her, ‘like a boxer would punch a bag.’
The slow motion video can be found here.
Roxanne made light of Ryan’s play fighting in the moment, but when she entered the bedroom she said, ‘Big brother that hurt. Can you call me to the diary room please.’
Click here to watch the fall out.
Sensitive or not (which has been Roxanne’s main defense since she has apologised for falsely accusing Ryan), it is confusing as to why Roxanne thought she could get away with saying Ryan viciously attacked her when every action in the Big Brother house is recorded.
Later, in the diary room, Roxanne describes the attack as ‘unprovoked’ and ‘completely deliberate.’
As the controversy unwound over social media, newspapers, and talk shows alike, Roxanne’s past accusations came to light.
More than twenty of her former co-stars (most of which worked with her on her three year stint in Emmerdale) publicly denounced Roxanne on social media. Her former Emmerdale on screen husband Kelvin Fletcher even went as far as to Tweet ‘She. Is. Evil.’
He went on to Tweet:
‘She’s not ‘mentally ill’ or in need of ‘help’. That denounces that people with actual mental health issues are as vindictive and menacing as her. They are not. There is a big difference. That was calculated and manipulative beyond belief. Ryan ❤️.’
And here is where it gets interesting. Roxanne’s history of over exaggeration is far beyond the i’m-too-sensitive plea. Footage has been released of the recent crash she involved in. Before viewing the crash, it might be worth it to watch this interview, in which Roxanne describes her injuries, and how traumatic the event was for her.
A trained first-aider (Lynsey Pannett) was on hand at the race track when Roxanne crashed, and later told The Sun newspaper: ‘After my initial assessment of her I knew there was nothing wrong.’
Despite this assessment, Roxanne was airlifted to hospital.
More disturbing still, Connor Byrne has spoken out about his experience with Roxanne while they were performing a panto version of Jack and the Beanstalk. He claims that Roxanne also falsely accused him of violence, and even went as far as to say that the incident with Ryan was a ‘carbon copy’ of what he went through.
Roxanne’s quivering lip and doe eyes have served her well in her public appearances since the incident. During her Jeremy Vine appearance her fellow panelist turned to Roxanne and said, ‘All I can say… I met, we had a chat outside, I’ve seen you now, I do think we’ve got a big problem in this country with this idea that we, we are entitled to abuse people just because we’ve seen people very briefly, very fleetingly, do something. And then we create this storm.’
No mention of how Roxanne’s false accusations could have ruined Ryan’s career.
This is a land mark moment for men who are falsely accused. The sordid details of Roxanne’s past accusations have been laid bare for the public to see, but that does not change the face that she acted so convincingly. She cried on cue. When asked by her fellow house mate to show how Ryan punched her, Roxanne pounded on his ribs. When Ryan defended himself she stood, lip trembling, saying, ‘He’s lying.’
Thank god Big Brother was watching.