Can Rox­anne Pal­lett save her ca­reer af­ter “punch­gate”?

Her life’s in tat­ters af­ter ‘punch­gate’

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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

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