Former Married At First Sight star Clare Verrall has issued a grave warning to producers of the reality show.
During an interview with Sunday Night, the season two star sensationally accused MAFS bosses of putting contestants’ mental health at risk by undertaking bullying tactics, manipulation and crafty editing.
“I didn’t sign up to be bullied to the point where I want to kill myself,” said Clare, who admits she suffered with depression and suicidal thoughts following her departure from the show.
“I didn’t sign up to have no support. I didn’t sign up to have my life completely ripped to shreds.”
Perhaps most worryingly, Clare – who endured a disastrous relationship with her ‘groom,’ Jono Pitman – confessed that she tried to end her life twice in the months after the show aired. Melbourne-based Clare went on to say that, despite the public’s perception, she was neither fame-hungry, nor desperate to further her career, but genuinely volunteered to go on the show because she was hopeful at finding love.
“I really believed them. I just wanted a love story,” she said.
Clare went on to reveal that despite viewers being led to believe that contestants are paired with a suitable match with the help of a team of relationship experts and psychologists, the reality was very different.
“That never happened. I never met the psychologist until we were filming and we were already matched.”
“It’s actually torture,” she continued. “You get to the point where you’re so tired and you’re so broken and you just want to stop, that you will say whatever they feed you.
“They [producers] set us up into a situation to fail.”
“They can create you into whatever character they want you to be by cobbling things together,” she said.
“They can make you say anything. You are a character. You just don’t know what the character is until it’s on air.”
Clare explained that after filming finished, she was essentially abandoned by producers and received no emotional support.
“I was having panic attacks. I mean, like, lying on the floor, crying, I can’t breathe. Feeling like you’re going to die.
“I got a lot of death threats. Just really specific threats like, ‘I hope she gets raped and then dies in a fire.’”
“It’s dangerous. Someone is going to die. And that someone was very, very, nearly me.”
Following her appearance on married At First Sight, it was later revealed that Clare had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder when she signed up for the show after a street attack in 2015.
Speaking to The Herald Sun in 2016, Clare admits she was furious to learn that her groom, Jono had previously admitted guilt to assault and recklessly causing injury to a man in a 2008 bar brawl and had been ordered to complete an anger management course.
“I was very disappointed that, knowing my history of PTSD after a violent attack and knowing I had joined the show earnestly trying to put myself out there to find love, the show and psychologists partnered me with someone who had known anger management issues and who has been arrested for violent behaviour.”
Last week, Jono – who is expecting a baby with his current partner, Rebecca Pattison - gave an interview slamming Clare for not being able to let go of what happened during their time on the show.