A man who appeared on The Jeremy Kyle Show and was labelled the "most hated" guest ever on social media says the show "ruined [his] life" and drove him to attempt suicide.
In an interview with the Guardian, UK man Dwayne Davidson said he struggled to find work after his appearance on the show and was mocked in the street.
"It's the worst thing that has ever happened in my life," Davison said. "They put the spoon in and stirred around my whole life."
Davidson's revelation comes after a Jeremy Kyle guest was found dead following an appearance on the show in which he failed a lie detector test. Steve Dymond, 63, was reportedly "distraught" following the test, which was intended to reveal if he had been faithful to his partner.
UK broadcaster ITV has suspended filming and broadcasting of Jeremy Kyle, and is facing pressure to cancel the long-running daytime show permanently.
Davidson, 27, approached the Guardian to tell the story of his experience. He said the show was designed to provoke participants into offending viewers, and that footage was edited to portray them negatively.
He says the attention he has received after his appearance five years ago has been relentless due to the show's reruns and shares on social media.
He says the abuse drove him to attempt suicide.
"I've had loads and loads of abuse and in 2018 I decided I'd had enough," he said. "My girlfriend had some toothache medication, I took a load of it, and I can't remember the rest. A few hours later my girlfriend came upstairs and she called the ambulance."
Davidson had reportedly stopped breathing but paramedics revived him. "At the hospital they said I would have died. I know this is putting responsibility on other places but I 100 per cent put it on that show. That show has ruined my life. It's evil."
He said the show moved with alarming speed once he expressed interest in appearing. After seeing an invitation to do a free lie-detector test, he and his girlfriend, who he believed had been unfaithful, texted the programme.
A producer rang them back, and "Within an hour there was a taxi at the door," he said. "You don't have time to think about it or phone your family. Once you're at the hotel, you feel you have to do the show. My mum begged me not to go on."
Despite ITV's claims they provide significant aftercare for guests on the show, Davidson said he only received two phone calls, which he says was "not enough".
He says the real damage was caused when the show uploaded clips of his appearance to YouTube with captions calling him the rudest and most hated guest ever. "It's like stabbing someone in the back multiple times and then asking if the person is OK," he said.
TVNZ has said it will continue to air the Jeremy Kyle Show in New Zealand. A spokesperson says it's in contact with ITV about the Dymond incident, and won't screen the episode in question, but it plans to continuing broadcasting episodes that have already been approved for broadcast.
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