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18 March 2019, 12:32
Viewers were horrified by the on-screen showdown - which comes shortly after two male cast members who used bad language to women were dropped by producers.
Towie fans were horrified when Sam Mucklow branded Shelby Tribble a “slag” during a fiery row on last night’s show.
The ITVBe reality juggernaut returned for its 23rd series, but it seemed the recent sacking of two former castmates for using vulgar language towards their female co-stars had passed Sam by.
Viewers watched on as the 23-year-old - brother of former show regular Billie - kicked off after Shelby, 26, confronted him about bragging about bedding newbie Demi Sims just hours after having sex with HER.
In the tense scenes, Shelby walks over to Sam, saying: “Shall we go back to last night.
"You’re all over me then we go back to the hotel and you’re with your fake friends.
“Me and Clelia are your real friends. You leave us to go to an afterparty you don’t even ask us to come with you.
“Then to make it worse, I heard you refer to me as ‘Pete’s ex’ - that is so disrespectful.”
She then added she had to listen to him “mugging her off” from the balcony, as he bragged to Chloe Sims about tapping up her younger sister Demi.
Sam hit back: “Listen me and you is not a couple, so what is your problem.”
Getting more upset, Shelby said: “You have made me feel like a cheap f*****g slag, as you said you’re gonna treat her like the lady she is.”
After throwing a drink over his face and walking off, Sam hollered after her, “You ARE a SLAG!”
The day after the show aired, Sam defended his actions, and said that the row was made to look worse because of editing - and that Thailand wasn't the first time he slept with Shelby.
Part of his statement read: "I regret calling her a slag but people do things out of spite and anger.
"So far anyone who thinks I condone boys calling girls slags you are extremely wrong."
People at home were furious that he had been allowed to speak to her like that - especially when there had been such furore over past cast members using similar aggressive language towards their partners.
James Lock called girlfriend Yasmin Oukohello a “spoilt brat”, and Myles Barnett branded Courtney Green a “dirty dog” and “slag”.
They were both dropped from the show this series as part of a huge cull.
One tweeted: "Oh my god!! Can’t believe he just said that!! Has he learnt nothing after the boys getting sacked for treating the girls like this?! I actually liked him, thought he was funny but you don’t call her a s***."
Another said: “New respect for Shelby after that. Sam is a disrespectful rat, and his behaviour and language show it."