Pete Bennett has accused his former Big Brother co-star Imogen Thomas of trying to “publicly shame” him over his tribute to Nikki Grahame.
The star - who appeared on Big Brother 7 in 2006 with Thomas and Bennett and briefly dated Bennett - had battled anorexia for three decades.
Thomas, 38, took to Instagram to suggest Bennett, 39, “betrayed” Nikki by sharing a final image of her and him together suggesting the move went “against everyone’s wishes”.
She also suggested musician Bennett “cashed in” by revealing her final text.
The former model wrote: “I can’t keep quiet any longer. I can’t stand to read another sold story by Pete Bennett.
“You Pete have no shame with your endless stories about Nikki. You saw her once within a year, took a haunting photo of her, put it up on Instagram against everyone’s wishes claiming you helped her.
“You were not there for her. Now this is not about you - this is about Nikki. How dare you!
“Please allow her family and close friends grieve and stop cashing in at every opportunity selling last tests is the ultimate betrayal. I’m disgusted and feel for her family. Enough.” (sic)
Bennett hit back - suggesting Nikki had given him permission to publish the image and said Thomas was “lying about him for attention.”
He claimed Thomas was being “cruel” when he was trying to grieve for his friend.
“In such a sad time of grief I’ve just had to witness Imogen Thomas trying to publicly shame me on her Instagram,” he wrote. “You know, ‘Nikki’s best friend’. I’m sorry but how cruel can you get?
“Now, About selling the final text, I didn’t sell anything, my tribute to Nikki in heat mag was from the heart and for no money and I sent love to nikkis family and friends in it too.
“Contrary to what Imogen is saying, Nikki gave me permission to upload the final picture of us saying it was a ‘lovely picture’.
“I put a link underneath the picture of the fundraiser to raise some funds for her care so she could get better whilst Imogen was promoting McCain oven chips and sending me daggers.”
He finished his message by saying he had “had enough of fake people and bullies.”
Bennett and Nikki met and fell for each other during Big Brother 7 - with Bennett the eventual winner.
Earlier this week, he said he and Nikki struggled to maintain their relationship after they left the Big Brother house.
Speaking to Heat Magazine, the musician, 39, said they felt “under pressure” when they left the house in 2006.
Bennett told the magazine: “In the end, it was really hard to maintain a relationship out of the house. Everyone wanted a piece of us, and we were doing big interviews together as a couple, but people were watching our every move, and it was so much pressure.
“I think she was too much for me to handle – without Big Brother telling her off!
“When we split up, it was quite raw between us for a while. Plus, I went a bit off radar, so we drifted apart. But about a year later, we started messaging each other again.
“Nikki would call me and say in her funny voice, ‘Peeeeete! Can I come and see you?’ And she came and watched me play in my band. She was really supportive like that. I think we were always just destined to be mates, and we really cared for each other.”
Nikki spent three weeks in Dorset County Hospital undergoing treatment before she died.
The Big Brother starhad documented her three -decade battle with the eating disorder in two books -Dying To Be Thin in 2009 and Fragile in 2012.