Laura Carter was best known for her appearance in Big Brother – and she's had plenty to say about her time on the show.
She entered the iconic house at Elstree Studios for the 17th instalment of the iconic reality show when it aired on Channel 5 in 2016. That year all the housemates entered on the first day of the show and she lasted 46 days before she was the eighth housemate to be evicted.
The series also included names that would become hugely controversial including influencer Andrew Tate and Marco Pierre White Jr, the son of the world famous chef. The year before, production company Endemol applied for planning permission to substantially extend the house for the theme.
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There were two houses on the series as a statement from Channel 5 before the show aired explained: "The Housemates live in the Big Brother house but they will have no idea of the dark and ominous force that is only metres away. In The Other House, The Others will be conspiring to target and take down the Housemates as they attempt to steal their place in the Big Brother House; and secure a chance of winning the £100,000 prize fund."
Big Brother's 'degrading' theme
It seems the theme had a drastic effect on the mental health of the housemates as Laura explained: "We didn't know that was the theme. It was a real mind f***. I had no idea and neither did anyone else. It was like being in a living nightmare."
In a video posted onto YouTube, she later attributed her bizarre behaviour to the 'paranoia' theme of the series. "It was really degrading, horrible things and it was always me," Laura remarked. "I went into the toilet after and was wiping everything off me and I thought, 'The public hate me, they want to humiliate me'. And I did feel humiliated."
Marco Pierre White Jr romp
Laura admitted that she practically had sex with Marco Pierre White Jr on the series, even though he was engaged to Kim Melvilles-Smith. But she said she wasn't a "home wrecker".
Speaking to Lateysha, she said: "'It wasn't full blown sex, but we had sex basically. Straight after it happened he said: "OH MY GOD! What's my family and my fiancée going to say?"
"I was like mate; you can't say this now. I think he feels guilty,' expressing her concern that he seemed to have, 'washed his hands of [her]!"
When she left the house, she was shown her obligatory 'best bits' highlight VT by presenter Emma Willis. She was left cringing after it included her sexual activities with Marco.
She told Willis: "I can't believe Big Brother showed the sex." Emma told Big Brother's Bit on the Side: "The only thing she shouldn't have done is shagged Marco."
She said: "It's like this switch went off inside of me and it was like self-destruct mode. I'd been pushed into this corner, I felt like there was no hope for me. I was made to feel everyone hated me. That's when my behaviour with Marco ensued."
"After having therapy and talking about what I did, I've come to realise it was almost like a mask I'd put up to protect myself and my feelings. I lost all self worth. I forgot that my family were watching, my friends were watching."
Big Brother 'ruined' her life
Before Big Brother, she worked as an actress in London's West End, bagged minor roles in Emmerdale and Holby City, and had a second job as a nightclub hostess. But it seems her life got a whole lot worse after entering the house.
Laura later implied she had regrets about even going into the show and even that it "ruined" her life. "I just remember lying on the kitchen floor with my head in my hands not knowing what to do with myself," she commented.
"I'd sit in silence – I had nothing left to give. It was the darkest, loneliest time of my life." Laura added: "I realised my life was not going to go back to how it was. Even clubs I worked in didn't want me back. My life changed but it literally ruined my life. It ruined it."
She also said: "I feel like I was really taken advantage of. As much as the producers were doing their job, all this process was to see how I would react to things. The minute the show finished, that was it. It was like, 'See ya'. And it was all left for me to deal with."
Weight loss and health issues
She welcomed her first child, son Jaxon, in 2018 with her partner Tony. She kept fans updated with a stunning topless snap of her baby bump.
But her Big Brother stint was still haunting her and it caused her to lose weight and suffer from insomnia. Laura said: "When Jax was about 18 months old, I started suffering from insomnia. I started having nightmares – when I could actually fall asleep. I was having nightmares of being watched.
"I was wracked with anxiety, I had anger issues. Even the tiniest thing someone would say to me, I'd blow up. It's like I was a pressure cooker about to blow at any point. I was also horrendously thin, I didn't realise that I was so thin until my mum said, 'I'm really worried about you now'."
Her weight dropped to 6.7stone, but she now weighs over 9stone and has had therapy to help her mental issues. "It was a real physical effect of what had happened to me mentally. I'd tried to block it all out, I'd tried to get on with my life but was seeing how mentally damaged I was."
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