Former Love Island contestant Montana Brown has broken down in tears talking about the last text that friend Mike Thalassitis sent to her before his death.
She was a close friend of Thalassitis and at one point was contacting him every day to support him, but tearfully said that she felt guilt at not having replied to the last message he sent her.
Read more: Tributes pour in for Mike Thalassitis
Talking to This Morning about her shock at the news he had taken his life over the weekend, she said of their last contact: “(It was) two days before (his death), but I’m kinda kicking myself because he text me and I didn’t actually reply, just because I’m really bad with my phone.
“You overthink everything, what did I do…I just wish I’d replied.
“He said, ‘How’s it going, girl, how are you?’ and I didn’t reply.”
Brown broke down in tears as she talked about the message, but also spoke about having offered him constant support at the end of 2018 when he appeared to be struggling with mental health issues.
Mental illness is a serious disease. I’m cooped up in my bed, just trying to fathom why Mike did this? Why he didn’t say something. Why he thought this was his only way out. I really am so confused. I feel so sad, I’m so sorry darling I didn’t do more. Miss you so much 💙
— MONTANA ROSE BROWN (@MontanaRoseB) March 17, 2019
She said: “He did go through a really rough time in November, December time and I know he was really struggling, and that’s when I thought, ‘oh my goodness, I feel like something bad’s going to happen’.
“I was at my wits’ end thinking something really terrible was going to happen if I didn’t do something. I felt like he was coming out of it, which I think is why it’s come as such a shock because he was doing so well.”
Brown added: “When he was going through a really rough time, every day I was checking up on him. I was really worried about his mental state.”
Explaining more about what he had been struggling with in December, she said: “The work wasn’t coming in, he’d finished Celebs Go Dating, the buzz had gone and he didn’t really know what to do for work.
“I think the stress really got to him and he thought the fame isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.”
— This Morning (@thismorning) March 18, 2019
Brown also spoke of the heartbreaking moment she learned of his death, after being told by a friend of what she first assumed was just a horrible rumour.
She said: “I texted him saying, ‘Hey, there’s this really weird rumour going round, call me when you get this.’ It didn’t deliver on WhatsApp and that rang alarm bells. I tried to call him and his phone went straight to answerphone and then I felt sick.”
Thank you for watching Niall. And thanks for raising awareness about the need to talk about mental health, especially young men, and being kind on social media. ❤️
— Loose Women (@loosewomen) March 18, 2019
The reality star added that she had found herself wondering “why now?” as Thalassitis’ future had been looking much more positive.
She said: “Last year potentially could have been bad, I could have seen that coming. But he’d been booking trips, he booked a trip to California with his best friend for a couple of weeks, he wanted to go to Sweden, he was about to open this cafe, he’d been going to the gym…
“In my eyes, there was no reason for him to do that. I don’t know if it was a spur of the moment, spontaneous decision where he had a moment of weakness, but it just makes me so sad that he had so many demons he went through on his own.”