James Argent: I am sorry for calling Gemma Collins a 'hippo'
James 'Arg' Argent has said he regrets calling his ex Gemma Collins a "hippo" and said his cruel words were triggered by self-hatred.
The 33-year-old The Only Way Is Essex star has shed almost 11 stone to reach his target weight of 15st 7lb after undergoing gastric surgery to remove a large part of his stomach earlier this year.
Argent showed off his weight-loss to The Sun and opened up on moving forward with his life.
He said of his past argument with Collins: "Anything negative I’ve said about anyone I deeply regret and I apologise for.
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“But that row was a long time ago and a lot of the time, when you say negative things about other people, you’re really saying it about yourself. It’s self-hatred.”
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The TOWIE co-stars were in an on-off relationship with between 2012 and 2020 and Collins shared messages from Argent on Instagram in July 2020 in which he called her a "hippo" and a "fat f***".
The GC, 40, has embarked on her own weight loss journey in the past year through exercise and has reunited with boyfriend Rami Hawash — owner of a car repair company — to whom she was previously engaged in 2013.
Argent said: “I’m very pleased that she started dating Rami again because I’m actually quite fond of him, he’s a nice guy.”
The reality star — who celebrated one year of sobriety in January this year following a near-fatal overdose — revealed his binge-eating spiralled out of control during lockdown.
Argent said: "I was living alone and even though I wasn’t doing drink or drugs, which I was extremely proud of, I was comfort-eating out of boredom and to escape feelings, and it got out of control.”
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He added: "After I binged, I was so exhausted I’d end up just staying in bed and not leaving the house.
“Then one afternoon my mum found me in bed and started crying. She said, ‘I don’t recognise my son any more.’ That was a big wake-up call."
Watch: Gemma Collins says James Argent's drug addiction 'ripped through her life'