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Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins victor Gareth Gates says he was a victim of “constant bullying and verbal abuse” while on a cruise ship.
The former Pop Idol runner-up said three female passengers mocked his speech impediment while he was working on a P&O Cruise. He told his 117,000 Instagram followers that the women, who were stopped nextdoor to him, began by mockingly singing David Bowie’s hit Changes before mimmicking his name.
He told followers he decided to make an Instagram video sharing details of his encounter to raise awareness about bullying and to encourage others to stand-up.
Gareth said: “Every time we’ve been out on our balcony it’s just been constant verbal abuse. They started by singing the song changes by David Bowie and then it’s progressed onto G-G-G-Gareth Gates and just got worse and worse.
You know, I am more than used to this, I can handle it. And at first I was like no, no let’s just leave it, but three days is relentless.”
Gareth explained it was three women making the comments to him, all around a similar age to his own mother. He continued: “If it had been three men I’d have headed around and said ‘look, is there an issue’.
“But I could hardly head around there myself as it’s three women, so my other half after a while said ‘look, I’ve had enough of this’ and so she went around and politely asked them to stop.”
Gareth said the three women eventually stopped making comments towards him. He concluded: “If we stand up to bullying, it can stop.
“I’m the first person to take the Mick out of my speech but knowing the person that you’re taking the Mick out of can hear, takes a completely different person.”
The singer was met with an outpouring of support from fans and fellow famous faces. Former model Danielle Lloyd said: “Shame on them Gareth your so strong and an amazing person.”
While Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps star Will Mellor said: “Some people feel the need to do this to take the attention away from how sad they are!!! Glad your partner said something. Enjoy the rest of your holiday pal.”
Singer Becky Hill added: “Fair play to ur lady for politely going round and asking them to stop… I wouldn’t have been so nice.”
In a later post, Gareth said the women were taken told to behave by P&O bosses on the ship. He and partner Allana Taylor were then moved away from the trio.
He added: “I can’t wait to be back on Arvia in January. But in the meantime I’m joining their other ship Iona next week; where I’ll be including a brand new song to my set; David Bowies ‘Ch-ch-ch Changes’”
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