I’M A Celebrity legend Gillian McKeith endured six horrific bushtucker trials while in the jungle.
Twelve years have now passed since she was buried alive, covered in creepy creatures and feasted on by a bloodthirsty leech, but the memories are still very raw for Gillian, who previously revealed she has post-traumatic stress from the show.
Afton McKeith says mum Gillian is triggered by her ‘I’m a Celebrity’ experience 12 years after she starred in The Jungle[/caption]
Her actress daughter Afton, who was just 10 when her mother traded her idyllic life in France for the Australian wilderness, saw how the experience affected Gillian and reveals that it still affects her to this day is.
Speaking exclusively to the Sun, Afton said: “It’s made her more claustrophobic in general. She was placed in a coffin with rodents and insects crawling all over the place, so I noticed that she definitely remembers what happened.
“There are such triggers, you know. She’s still very scared of all those bugs and bugs and everything, but I think it honestly increased her fears. It’s like a living nightmare doing the exams on this show.
“I couldn’t even have imagined the things I saw at my mother’s. It definitely showed up in her life and caused her a lot of trauma.
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Reflecting on some of the tougher times in the jungle, she continued, “Alligators are literally swimming with her and mice and rats are crawling all over her. She had a leash on her and sucked her blood while on the show. It was quite a traumatic experience.”
Gillian, who famously passed out twice at camp, recently told us she pretended to be pregnant to get out of exams but producers didn’t believe her.
Her star-hunting efforts were not always successful, and she was criticized by starving roommates for not providing the meals they so desperately wanted.
It was tough for young Afton to watch her mother’s co-stars snooping around in the Bush Telegraph behind her back while they sat alongside the other relatives in a communal tent on the grounds.
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Every day, the relatives were taken by bus from the luxury Versace resort on the Gold Coast to the TV location in the jungle to await the outcome of the voting.
After a hearty buffet breakfast, they watched the show in real time with the rest of the England viewers to find out who would be eliminated.
Afton said: “I understood her reaction to all of this because I probably would have been the same or worse because it’s scary what you have to do in court proceedings. I was very worried about her. It was hard to watch because you see the celebrities talking to the camera behind their backs. A lot of them on the show spoke about my mom in a not-so-nice way.
“It was really hard watching it start with all the other family members around me, and then I started having a certain kind of feelings for those family members that were in there. Because of that, it was an awkward dynamic. My mom went through a lot and they didn’t understand it because they don’t. It’s easy to complain that she didn’t get enough stars, but why don’t you just try it?”
It looks like Gillian may put her jungle demons to rest next year when the highly anticipated I’m A Celebrity: All Stars airs.
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The show legend will join other favorites like Amir Khan and Helen Flanagan for the special series.
But before that, Afton will launch her new fitness class in January in partnership with her nutrition mom’s online wellness and weight loss club.
The free course can be found at www.aftonmckeith.com
Afton was proud of how her mother dealt with life in the jungle[/caption]
Gillian’s daughters flew to Australia in 2010 to meet her[/caption]