Maya Jama talks about death of her first boyfriend and father’s imprisonment

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 Maya Jama (Dave Benett)
Maya Jama (Dave Benett)

Maya Jama has opened up about how her first boyfriend was shot dead and how her father was in prison when she was a child.

The presenter’s childhood boyfriend Rico Gordon was killed in 2011 when she was a teen. He was just 21 when he was killed by a ricocheting bullet during a fight in Bristol.

Jama, who was 16 at the time, was getting ready to move to London to pursue a career in television.

The star spoke about the tragedy while starring on Channel 4’s Foxy’s Fearless 48 Hours - where stars are put under physical and emotional pressure by SAS instructor Jason Fox.

She said: “So then your whole world just changes as you’re a little girl and you realise, ‘All right, this is adult stuff going on.’ I was devastated, I was so sad.”

Jama also spoke about her father, Hussein, who was sent to prison when she was a toddler for bottling a man.

She added: “I had a situation where my dad was in and out of jail from three. At the time, I didn’t think it bothered me. It was all I knew so that was normal, I don’t like crying about that stuff. I have to laugh or I get emotional.

“I’m OK now, but obviously I’m sad for my little, younger self that I had to deal with that.”

Jama has spoken about her father’s imprisonment before - saying it was not something she “sat at home and cried about” during an interview with Marie Claire.

She said: “Anything that seems tragic or could make people feel sorry for me, I make a joke out of. I guess it’s because I’m OK with it. I’ve accepted it and I don’t want you making me feel like you’re sorry for me.

“If people said, ‘Where’s your dad?’ I’d say, ‘Oh, he’s in jail’ and I’d laugh about it. It wasn’t something I sat at home and cried about.”

Earlier this year, Jama was announced as the new host of BBC Three’s Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star.

The programme was previously hosted by Stacey Dooley.

She was also recently a pundit for Soccer Aid 2021.

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