Pete Bennett has described Nikki Grahame as “one of the best characters that the world’s ever seen” following her tragic death.
The reality star, who shot to fame on Big Brother back in 2006, sadly passed away on Friday morning at the age of 38.
Nikki had been battling an eating disorder, and had just checked into a private hospital to receive treatment before her death.
Pete, who briefly dated Nikki while they appeared on Big Brother together in 2006, shared his heartache over the loss of the star.
Speaking to Sky News on Monday morning, he said: “My heart goes out to everyone who was trying to help her, especially her best friend, Carly… I know is really struggling and my heart goes out to her because I know what it’s like to lose your best friend, especially when you’re trying to save them.”
“When I found out she was ill in the last lockdown, she told me not to say she was getting care but she rang me up and said ‘Pete I’m ill, come and get me in the clinic’, but this lockdown happened and I remember seeing the fundraiser Carly and Leon had made… and I was like ‘oh my god she’s really, really ill man’.”
“I was in London at the time and I just went and got in the cab and went over there, and my girlfriend who is a mental health nurse, and we just tried to give her as much love and support… and because it’s me… I thought the love I had would just boost her up and get her out the darkness.”
Pete said the lockdown restrictions have been particularly difficult for those with mental health difficulties, saying: “Look at what it’s done, it’s taken one of the best characters that the world’s ever seen, it’s just rubbish man.”
“I can’t really put it in to words,” he added.
Nikki’s death was confirmed by her agent Freddie White, who said in a statement: “It is with immeasurable sadness that Nikki Grahame passed away in the early hours of Friday 9th April 2021. Please respect the privacy of Nikki’s friends and family at this tragic and difficult time.”
For help and support with eating disorders, contact Bodywhys on 01-2107906, or visit bodywhys.ie.