The on-screen "wife" of axed Married At First Sight contestant Chris Mansfield has opened up about the "trauma" of finding out he was facing serious domestic violence allegations in the US.
And she has spoken at length to the woman Mansfield was charged with assaulting, saying it was "important" to hear from her directly about the allegations.
Mansfield, 39, was due to appear on the third season of MediaWorks reality show Married At First Sight which airs from this weekend.
However, after it emerged that he had been charged with domestic violence in the USA, he was edited out of the show.
His removal came after his ex Candace Casady, 32, claimed physical and mental abuse before he was arrested on a domestic violence charge on May 4, 2009.
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Mansfield pleaded not guilty and was released on bail but the Herald understands that after missing a second pre-trial hearing on June 15, he was taken into custody by US immigration services and sent home to New Zealand.
Casady was pregnant with his child at the time he left the US but did not have the baby.
Mansfield has not responded to requests for comment by the Herald in the past several days.
But he appears to have updated his Instagram page to reflect his removal from the show.
The woman he was matched with and "married" to on MAFS was Auckland business owner and sales manager Aimee Collins.
The 34-year-old confirmed at the weekend she was the on-screen wife of Mansfield but the pair exited the show early.
She spoke to the Herald today, saying the last few days had been "really hard".
"I'm doing ok, as good as I can be - but it's been a rollercoaster ride," said Collins, who is currently out of the country.
"Honestly, it has been a nightmare, the last few days has been very, very traumatising for me.
"The entire experience has been very, very traumatising for me. I'm really lost for words."
Yesterday Casady contacted Collins and the pair have spoken at length.
"She reached out to me and I responded," Collins told the Herald.
"I needed to hear it [the details of the allegations] from her."
Collins was also able to speak to another of Mansfield's American ex girlfriends.
Kim, who does not want her last name published, was his first partner in the US and also alleges they had a toxic relationship.
"I think for me it was good to hear it from the [alleged] victims themselves, to hear their accounts, their warnings and their concern for my future safety," Collins said.
"Speaking to them was helpful… it was shocking, it was disturbing…"
Collins said there was much more she wanted to say - and would in future.
But she was working with lawyers and could not go into specifics on some matters.
She could not comment on whether she would take legal action against MediaWorks or if the company was supporting her.
She could not speak about how Mansfield was towards her during filming or if there were any issues or incidents of concern.
And she could not speak about whether she had had any contact with police in relation to Mansfield.
"Just because of legal advice I can't… I will share later on, but right now I can't," she explained.
Collins said she has not had any contact with Mansfield since leaving MAFS.
"We exited early (from MAFS) and parted ways at that moment," she said.
"I don't have any association with him, nor do I want to."
Collins said it had been excruciating being linked to Mansfield since the news of his US arrest was made public.
"Unfortunately by association I am affected by it," she said.
"That's been really hard for me… I am ok but it's an extremely hard experience being so public.
"Going into this show I expected publicity… I know by doing the show that yes, I would be in the public eye.
"But I certainly didn't expect to be paired with - and I didn't want to be paired with - someone like Chris."
Collins wanted to use the "shocking" situation to try to help people affected by family harm.
"I urge any woman or man who is experiencing any kind of abuse or domestic violence to seek help or get out of that environment," she said.
"I absolutely do not condone and I have zero tolerance for domestic violence and I just want to encourage anyone who is experiencing it to speak up.
"Our country has an epidemic of domestic violence and we need to have a voice."
Casady also felt it was good to be able to speak to Collins.
"Aimee and I have spoken at length on the matter," she said today.
"She is okay, however, extremely traumatised by the entire experience."
Casady said a number of other women had reached out to her in relation to their own domestic violence experiences.
She encouraged others to do the same.
MediaWorks are refusing to comment further.
DB, who employ Mansfield, are investigating the claims, which they found out about in the media.
"Given their serious nature, we began investigating the details as a matter of urgency and these investigations are ongoing," a spokeswoman said.
"As this is now an employee relations matter we are following the due process required by New Zealand law and cannot elaborate further at this time."
DO YOU NEED HELP?
If you're in danger now:
• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people.
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you.
• Take the children with you.
• Don't stop to get anything else.
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay
Where to go for help or more information:
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and middle eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz