I’m a Celebrity 2013: Joey Essex’s grandmother opens up about his mum’s suicide: ‘He believes she’s looking down on him’

by Nick Barnes

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Joey Essex, the champ of Bush Tucker Trials may be having the time of his life down under, but he’s had to battle with a few demons in his short life, one of which was dealing with his mother’s death.

Essex’s mother committed suicide when the star was aged just 10 years old and according to his grandmother, he couldn’t accept that she was gone for over 5 years. In a rather candid interview, the star’s grandmother has opened up on how Joey and his older sister, Frankie coped with their mother’s passing.

It is known that Joey’s mother Tina battled with medical conditions for a number of years before her death. After giving birth to Joey, she suffered from post-natal depression and she then developed candida, which is a yeast infection causing pain and exhaustion.

Joey’s grandmother Linda Sims spoke to The Sun about how Joey’s mum is looking down on him every day and how she would be so proud of what he has achieved in the jungle so far.

joey essex

“It was terrible. Joey told me that for five years he believed that she would come back. He just couldn’t accept that she had gone,” she explained.

She went on to add that “Joey firmly believes she is up there looking down on him, helping him and watching over him. And I believe it myself”.

Not only that, Joey has been making his grandmother very proud in the jungle, declaring that she is the “proudest grandmother in Britain at the moment”.

She said: “He is doing so brilliantly, but I can’t help being sad as well because I wish Tina could be here to see him. She would be so over the moon and so proud of her boy”.

The newspaper explains that Joey and his older sister Frankie came home from school one day to their family home to find that their mum had booked a hotel room and killed herself.

Joey is trooping on through in the jungle and has been bringing home the bacon (well… kangaroo) every night so far. However on this evening’s show, he’ll have a little break as Amy Willerton takes on the Handglider from Hell.

I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here continues this evening at 9pm on ITV!

Nick Barnes

Nick is the Assistant Editor at Unreality TV, along with being a full-time Beyoncé obsessor! Email him at nick@unrealitytv.co.uk or catch him on Twitter @ImNickBarnes