Jermaine Pennant has opened up to Jeremy Kyle about his time in the Big Brother house, saying he “embarrassed his family” by flirting with Chloe Ayling.
The footballer, who is married to glamour model Alice Goodwin, passed a note to Ayling while in the house saying he liked her, and she spent her time in the house unaware that he was married.
“Did you not know it was on television?” asked Kyle, when Pennant appeared on his show as a guest to discuss his book Mental: Bad Behaviour, Ugly Truths and the Beautiful Game.
“Of course I did,” he responded, and also denied going along to a hotel with Ayling after the Celebrity Big Brother wrap party.
“The whole of Big Brother was in that hotel, we all came together,” he said.
'The press want to make stories'
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“The pictures just showed me and her in a cab, but there was two other housemates in that taxi as well.
“We all went into that hotel all together. But the press obviously want to make stories and showed just me and her.”
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“What did your wife think watching you flirt your backside off with Chloe Ayling?” asked Kyle. “Did she buy it [your apology]? I’ve just been told your wife Alice is outside the studio listening to this now.”
“Obviously not, she was very upset, and I have to take the full responsibility and the blame and hold my hands up,” said Pennant.
“I embarrassed my family and I took it too far. But nothing physical happened, it was all flirting.”
Kyle then told Pennant that Ayling had since admitted she’d date him “if he was single”, during a conversation with Lizzie Cundy on her FUBAR Radio show.
“Well, that just speaks volumes don’t it,” Pennant replied.
'Producers played a great game'
He added that some things on the show were orchestrated to put him close to Ayling.
“It definitely got perceived to be more,” he said.
“One of the tasks, everyone done [it] in an hour and fifteen minutes, I got put with Chloe in a little booth for three hours. Double everyone else’s task. It was always shaped to look like how it was.”
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He said producers “played a great game and it was great for the viewers, but at the same time I overstepped the mark, I should have been more clever.”
In his book, Pennant also divulges details about his difficult childhood, including his father’s drug dealing and subsequent addiction.
The pair have now reconciled and Pennant told Kyle that having his father at his wedding in 2014 was “ emotional and a great time for me.”