The Married at First Sight NZ contestant who wed Chris Mansfield on the reality show says she has been under high emotional strain since allegations of his past domestic violence emerged this week.
Aimee Collins tonight confirmed to the Herald she was matched with Mansfield for the upcoming season of Married at First Sight NZ, set to air next Sunday.
It comes hours after Mansfield, 39, was this afternoon axed from the reality show by MediaWorks, which said it had made the decision to edit him out of the show before it went to air, because he failed to declare charges of domestic violence made against him in the US a decade ago.
Today, the Weekend Herald published an account from a former partner of Mansfield who claimed he "almost killed me a couple of times [through] strangling" while also detailing his arrest for a domestic violence complaint in the US in 2009.
MediaWorks announced it would remove all footage of Mansfield from the upcoming season of MAFS - thereby erasing his partner Collins from the show too.
"I can confirm I was matched with Chris Mansfield on the latest season of Married at First Sight NZ," Collins, 34, said in a statement.
"I'm shocked and appalled at the allegations involving Chris Mansfield. We had both exited the show two weeks ago, before these allegations surfaced.
"I empathise with anyone who has experienced any kind of domestic abuse. Domestic violence is serious and I absolutely stand against it.
"As these allegations have come to light over the last few days it has been particularly straining and emotional for me.
"I'm currently working through this with the support of my legal team and MediaWorks."
Collins did not clarify to the Herald whether she was still married to Mansfield.
MediaWorks said this afternoon Mansfield would no longer feature in the upcoming season of MAFS NZ.
"We were shocked to hear of the accusations made against Chris Mansfield which we looked into immediately upon learning of them on Thursday," MediaWorks said in a statement.
"At this time Chris had already left the experiment and was not required for any further production commitments."
Background and police checks were made before he was accepted on the show, it said, but because Mansfield had failed to disclose the police investigation into him, he would be cut from the programme before it goes to air.
"As stated yesterday, prior to commencing filming, every participant is subject to a New Zealand criminal record check, participates in a psychiatric assessment and must have been deemed by a professional psychologist to be fit to participate in the format," the statement from MediaWorks said.
"All our participants are required to confirm they have no undisclosed convictions of any kind and have never been investigated by the police for any criminal activity, but not then convicted.
"Under privacy law it is not possible to obtain information about any charges or outstanding warrants (international or otherwise) an individual may face.
"Chris Mansfield did not disclose these allegations at any time and in light of the accusations that have been made against him, his storyline will no longer be part of the Married at First Sight NZ 2019 series."
Candace Casady, 32, told the Weekend Herald from Seattle, Washington, she suffered physical and mental abuse during her relationship with Mansfield.
Mansfield was arrested in Seattle on May 4, 2009, after a domestic violence complaint from Casady. He pleaded not guilty and was released after paying a bail amount of US$950 ($1500).
He later appeared at a pre-trial hearing on May 18, after which a second hearing was scheduled for June 15 - however, Mansfield failed to appear and an outstanding warrant remains active on his name, a spokesperson for the Seattle Municipal Court confirmed.
Casady said she was pregnant with his child at the time he left the US, but did not have the baby.
Mansfield is a brand ambassador for alcohol giant Dominion Breweries.
Amber McEwen, DB Breweries corporate affairs director, said it became aware of the allegations on Thursday.
"We began investigating the details as a matter of urgency," she said.
"Next steps will be dictated by the results of these investigations, which are being taken very seriously."
How to get help if you are a victim of family violence
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:
• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• Ministry of Justice: www.justice.govt.nz/family-justice/domestic-violence
• National Network of Stopping Violence: www.nnsvs.org.nz
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent. www.whiteribbon.org.nz
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