Joey Essex has become synomynous with loud, fun-loving Essex men thanks to his role on The Only Way Is Essex, but he's opened up to Now Magazine this week about his Mum's tragic suicide, revealing a very different side to himself.
21 year-old Joey was just 10 years old when his mother took her own life, and told Now magazine, "I didn't know where my mum was. I asked Dad, 'Where's Mummy gone?' And he told me, 'she'll be back soon.'
"I didn't know. I was just a kid. I thought she might have gone to a hotel. My Dad must've been thinking, 'where's my wife gone?"
When he was finally told about his Mum's death, Joey admits he struggled to take in the news.
"I remember opening the door and Dad was standing there. He picked me up and said, "Mum's gone." It was the biggest shock of everyone's life.
"But I didn't really believe it, to be fair. I was upset and crying but after a while I though, Nah, she'll come back."
"For the first five years I never believed it. I've never known how she did it, but I knew she killed herself. My sister Frankie knows how, but I don't want to."
Joey admitted the reason he's come forward now, is because of the rumours circulating about the incident.
"Some people think they know what happened but I was there that day and I'm the only one who knows how I coped. I want people to hear it from my mouth once and for all."
In the meantime The Only Way Is Essex star admits that his Mum's suicide has probably had an affect on the women he dates.
"Definitely," he says. "Sam always used to call me her toyboy. She's a very mature lady."
"When she split up with me it was the anniversary of my mum's death. I don't think she knew but it really upset me.
Read the full interview in this week's Now magazine
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