Big Brother star Trish Balusa has issued an apology to viewers after offensive tweets of hers resurfaced in the wake of her eviction.
Most of the offensive posts were shared more than 10 years ago and some included homophobic and racist language.
The 33-year-old has since apologised for the remarks in a lengthy statement shared to social media from what appears to be a new account in her name, with the original one seemingly deactivated.
“There are no excuses for the ignorance that I showed and I am deeply disappointed, embarrassed, and ashamed that I once made such comments,” Balusa wrote.
“I have come a very long way since by educating myself and being educated by others on the impact and harm these views cause.
“It is part of the reason why I am so passionate about standing up for others and holding myself to a high standard of responsibility and accountability for my actions.
“I appreciate the support you’ve all given me on the show and I understand you feel disappointed.”
The tweets in question only came to light after Balusa’s shock eviction last week.
She had previously been a favourite to win the series and had amassed a large following on Twitter, now known as X, in particular.
“I am committed to being the person I am now”
Balusa acknowledged that apologies “can seem convenient” but assured fans that she is sincere.
“I am truly sorry,” she continued. “I hope it is possible for you to offer me grace and believe that people can change.
“I am committed to being the person I am now, the person you have known me as – someone who speaks up, stands for what they believe in, and always open to growth and accountability.”
My sincerest apologies to everyone. pic.twitter.com/BACSoFJM8h
— Trish Balusa (@BalusaTrish) November 12, 2023
Big Brother producers have confirmed that an investigation into how the posts were not flagged when she was cast in the series, which is the first to be broadcast on ITV, has been launched.
“This weekend we have been made aware of concerning historical tweets,” a spokesperson for Initial TV, the production company behind the reality show, told BBC News.
“We are currently looking into why they were not identified by the independent supplier we engage to review the digital footprint of potential housemates as part of our pre-checks.”
The new season of Big Brother will come to an end this week after launching at the start of October, with the winner being chosen by the public and awarded a cash prize of £100,000.