A former Big Brother contestant who had lost a child through still-birth prior to entering the house, claims producers wanted her to tell her story before exiting the show.
Kate Gladman, who was a contestant on the 2007 season of the TEN reality series, has told ABC that producers knew she had a child who died in birth before the series started, but a housemate challenge requiring housemates to care for “robot babies” was so traumatic she tried to leave the house.
On tonight’s episode of You Can’t Ask That she is one of several ex-Reality TV stars talking about why they signed up for shows such as Big Brother, Australian Idol, and My Kitchen Rules and issues around manipulation & editing, fame and adjusting to ‘normal’ life.
Gladman explained that Big Brother producers knew she had lost a baby through pre-eclampsia.
“I felt it was too deep and too real a trauma to be discussed on something as frivolous as a reality TV show. But the producers knew about it. They obviously wanted to get the story out of me,” she explained.
Describing a weekly challenge to care for ‘plastic robot babies’ she recalled, “It was making crying noises and I just…. the blood drained from my face. I said ‘You’ve done this deliberately and I want to leave the house.’
“And they said, ‘You can’t leave. You have to stay and you have to tell your story.’ That’s how they manipulated me: by asking me to look after a plastic baby in circumstances where I’d lost my own baby 18 months before.”
The incident did make news in 2007 with producers acknowledging they had misjudged in assigning the task and they should have shown more sensitivity.
Episode 2 of You Can’t Ask That Tonight also includesRob Mills (Australian Idol), Sara-Marie Fedele, Benjamin Norris, (both Big Brother),Mick Donaher (Sylvania Waters), Sheridan Wright (The Biggest Loser), Ryan Jones (The Bachelorette), and Lauren Finelli (My Kitchen Rules).
TEN has been contacted for comment.
9pm tonight on ABC.