James Haskell defends himself after being branded a ‘bully’ during I’m A Celebrity stint

4 December 2019, 12:43

Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

Former rugby player James Haskell spoke to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield following his exit from the jungle.

James Haskell defended himself over the I'm A Celebrity backlash
James Haskell defended himself over the I'm A Celebrity backlash. Picture: ITV

James Haskell divided I’m A Celebrity viewers this year during his time in the jungle alongside the likes of Kate Garraway and Ian Wright.

While some ITV viewers loved Chloe Madeley’s husband’s wit and determination, others more harshly branded the star “bossy” and even “a bully”.

READ MORE: I’m A Celebrity loses five million viewers as fans complain show is ‘dull’ and ‘boring’

However, the star has now defended his time in the jungle, telling Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on This Morning that “it’s a shame how it came across”.

James Haskell was branded a "bully&squot; by some viewers
James Haskell was branded a "bully' by some viewers. Picture: ITV

Speaking from Australia with wife Chloe, he explained: “When you’re in the jungle you’ve got to appreciate you’ve got 12 people from different walks of life, 12 people who have different standards, and how they want to operate.

“Obviously, I went into that jungle with one idea and one idea only, and that was to have fun and challenge myself. I wasn’t aware before I went in there was a King or Queen of the jungle, I didn’t know about that competitive element.

“I’m a big guy, I’m six foot three and around 19 stone, I didn’t want to ever take a leader roll on, I wanted everyone to have an equal say and opportunity, but I’ve been around team sport my entire life.”

James Haskell told This Morning he "unintentionally" stepped into a leader roll
James Haskell told This Morning he "unintentionally" stepped into a leader roll. Picture: ITV

He went on to reference one of the more tense scene’s during the series, when he discovered they had been under-using their food rations.

“I was hungry, I found 21 bags of beans that we hadn’t eaten, the entire camp were starving”, he said: “And when you have that you have what in the normal world would be difference of opinions, I believe X, you believe Y.

“But in the jungle environment, when you say things, it’s put out in a certain way, it can seem like more than it is.”

Former rugby player James Haskell spoke to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield following his exit from the jungle
Former rugby player James Haskell spoke to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield following his exit from the jungle. Picture: ITV

James admitted that he did end up taking on the leader roll, although it was “not intentional”.

He explained: “Sometimes you’ve got to make tough decisions and in the jungle that might come across as frustrated but we have a difference of opinions every single day.

READ MORE: Caitlyn Jenner slammed for her bad manners by I'm A Celebrity co-stars

“It was absolutely nothing, I just think it’s a shame it came across as anything else.”

Some viewers, however, are having none of it, with one taking to Twitter, writing: “#ThisMorning James trying to say it came across like that... but he said those things you can't edit that.”

Another added: “James trying to justify his controlling behaviour and bullying.. there’s no excuse #ThisMorning.”