Can Roxanne Pallett save her career after “punchgate”?
Her life’s in tatters after ‘punchgate’
Big Brother is known for its shocking moments, but this summer’s celebrity series has rocked the country. Following “punchgate”, former Emmerdale actress Roxanne Pallett has left her radio presenting job, is rumoured to have forfeited her £75k fee for Celeb Big Brother, and has lost her role as Cinderella in panto this Christmas.
Roxanne accused fellow housemate Ryan Thomas of punching her in the ribs “like a boxer”– even referring to him as a “woman beater”. In the 24 hours following the altercation, she asked Big Brother to remove Ryan from the house, convinced more than one housemate to confront him about his actions, and claimed he was purposely trying to “tarnish” her career. Roxanne – who has spoken about previously being in an abusive relationship – then quit the show.
However, when footage of the incident emerged, it did not match Roxanne’s version of events. All the 35 year old’s social media accounts were quickly deleted, and the actress appeared on Jeremy Vine’s Channel 5 chat show to give her point of view. “When I look back on the footage, I got it wrong,” said Roxanne, who was accompanied by her fiancé Lee Walton on the way to the studio. “My mind ran away with me. I am a sensitive person. My friends and family can vouch for that.”
W hen Jeremy
pointed out that, without the footage proving his innocence, Ryan’s successful acting career could have been ruined, she responded, “I massively apologise to Ryan, his family, friends, his fans – every single person who saw an overreaction to what wasn’t a malicious act.”
People are now questioning what Roxanne can do to salvage her career, and the latest rumours suggest she may be considering going on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here. While Roxanne’s spokesperson says she currently has “no plans to take part”, the reality show is well-known for casting controversial and topical stars, and a friend of the actress claims it may be a way to “redeem herself ”. It could even be possible that we would see Roxanne coming face-to-face with Ryan’s girlfriend and seasoned reality star Lucy Mecklenburgh, for a showdown in the jungle if the I’m A Celeb producers got their way.
Lucy hasn’t held back about her feelings for Roxanne, criticising her heavily on social media. The former TOWIE star said Ryan’s family were “in bits” after the incident and she believes Roxanne “needs to get help.”
But can doing yet more reality TV really save Roxanne’s reputation? Dean Piper – former showbiz journalist and celebrity PR – believes it’s already the end of the road for Roxanne. “The fundamental problem is what she did was unacceptable and there doesn’t seem to be a way for her to claw back any remnants of a career right now,” he tells us. “She needs to go away, keep her head down and give it time. But even that may not be enough. I’d be surprised if she managed to work in entertainment following this. Hopefully, she’s seeking help, has the right team around her and is keeping her head above water, because being a showbiz villain in the public eye requires a very thick skin indeed.”
Emma Bunning, owner and director at On The Box PR, suggests that for Roxanne to achieve any sort of redemption, a smart move would be to “involve herself with a women’s charity, as well as donating some of her appearance fees to one of these organisations. If anything, the last few weeks have shown what a great actress she really is, so hopefully that career will still be an option down the line.”
But, if many of Roxanne’s former Emmerdale co-stars are to be believed, this scandal has laid the actress’ personality bare for all to see. Verity Rushworth tweeted, “Karma’s a bitch,” with the hashtag #Ryantowin,” while Kelvin Fletcher simply posted, “She. Is. Evil.” Actors Sam Attwater and Rhydian Roberts have also come forward to reveal that Roxanne accused them of assault when working with her in theatre shows. So, if she wants a future in showbiz, it seems there’s a lot of broken bridges to mend. n
‘I’d be surprised if she worked after this’ Dean Piper