Watch: Pete Bennett thought 'love and support' would 'save' Nikki Grahame
Pete Bennett has said he believed "love and support" would've helped 'save' Nikki Grahame.
The Big Brother winner appeared on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday in the wake of Grahame's death aged 38 last Friday, which came weeks after she checked into a private hospital as her battle with an eating disorder worsened in lockdown.
The pair originally became close as they appeared as contestants on 2006's Big Brother and dated for a time, but maintained a friendship after parting ways.
Speaking with hosts Kate Garraway and Adil Ray, Bennett said: "I thought that love and support would save her. I tried my best.
"Because we had a bond from Big Brother, we've always had that special bond. Although we went our separate way for a few years, the bond that me and Nikki shared in Big Brother was special and I thought that I would be able to lift her out of it, just get her feeling good again.
"I thought love and support - because we had that bond - I just thought that she needed some good friends."
Two of Grahame's friends had set up a Go Fund Me page in March to appeal for donations for the reality star, stating that she was in a "very bad way" and required treatment in a rehabilitation centre.
She had been open about her decades long battle with anorexia and released a book on her experiences in 2009.
Bennett and his girlfriend visited Grahame several weeks before her death, a meeting he addressed in his interview.
"When we saw each other again that night it was magic. She came out of her shell, we were reminiscing about Big Brother. She wasn't well, obviously but in here she was still there," he disclosed.
"One of the most special nights I've had with Nikki was that last night I saw her. It was a really lovely bond and to see each other again after how ever many years we'd not seen each other. It's probably the fondest memory I've got with her now."
For more information and advice about eating disorders visit the support services offered by BEAT.