Last weekend, pictures surfaced of Seann Walsh and Katya Jones, partners on Strictly Come Dancing, kissing outside a pub in Marylebone. The pair both released statements immediately apologizing to their respective partners, but this morning, Seann’s now-ex girlfriend, Rebecca Humphries, has released her own statement, calling Seann out for gaslighting and manipulating her.
‘In light of the story in today's newspaper I would like to offer my sincere apologies for my actions,’ Seann's statement read on Sunday, ‘This is no excuse but it was a one-off drunken mistake which I am truly sorry for.’ Katya’s reiterated the drunken mistake, stating that the ‘one-off mistake after some drinks’ was ‘not a reflection’ on her five-year marriage to fellow professional dancer Neil Jones- who has also previously appeared on Strictly Come Dancing.
The public reaction was mixed, with some dismissing the kiss with a ‘we’ve all done it’ nonchalance and others outraged, sending endless support to their partners. One of their partners, however, wants the world to know she is not a victim in this. Rebecca, an actor who has been in a relationship with Seann (or 'Sean[n]' as she hilariously refers to him) for five years, released a statement via Twitter accusing him of gaslighting her.
Starting off with ‘My name is Rebecca Humphries and I am not a victim.’, she said that the current narrative being told by the media was ‘missing a couple of crucial elements’ that she needed to clear up, and while she was offered to sell her side of the story, she wanted it to be on her own terms.
‘Those pictures were taken on October 3rd,’ the statement read, ‘It was my birthday. I was alone at home when Sean texted at 10pm saying the two of them were going for one innocent drink. We spoke and I told him, not for the first time, that his actions over the past three weeks had led me to believe something inappropriate was going on.’
Glazing past the absolute abhorrent fact that it was he cheated on her on her birthday, the more serious accusation comes when she claims that Seann used gaslighting and emotionally abusive tactics to placate her concerns. ‘He aggressively, and repeatedly, called me a psycho / nuts / mental,’ she said, ‘As he has done countless times throughout our relationship when I've questioned his inappropriate, hurtful behaviour.’
Choosing to finally leave Seann, she continued with a plea to all women who are in similar relationships to her, ’This whole business has served to remind me that I am a strong, capable person who is now free; and no victim. I have a voice and will use it by saying this to any woman out there who deep down feels worthless and trapped with a man they love:
‘Believe in yourself and your instincts. It's more than lying. It's controlling. Tell some very close friends who, if they’re anything like my wonderful network, will swoop in and take of the logistics and of you.
Finishing her statement strong, she further explained that in emotionally abusive relationships, the person gaslighting you is more often than not more fragile than you feel, something many women can relate to.
‘It's important also to recognise that in these situations those who hold power over you are insecure and fragile, and their need for control comes from a place of vulnerability,’ she said, ‘I think it certainly does in Sean's case. Despite everything, I hope he gets what he wants from this. I'm not sorry I took the cat though.’
Liked by near 60,000 people, her statement has received over 4,000 replies, with fellow celebrities from Myleene Klass to Carol Vordeman praising her response. ‘What a powerful, important message,’ Stacey Solomon tweeted, ‘You will help so many people going through similar experiences. You're amazing.’
Her words have also been retweeted by various charities, from Scottish Women’s Aid to Tender UK who added, ‘Thank you @Beckshumps for boldly speaking out against unhealthy behaviour & emphasising the immense value of supportive friends.’
It’s not the first time a reality TV show has highlighted the commonality of gaslighting in relationships. Earlier this year, Love Island was embroiled in a gaslighting narrative when Adam Collard exhibited similar behaviour. Blaming their partner for their own indiscretions, making them feel emotionally unstable for having extremely normal reactions to hurtful behaviour, it’s all part and parcel of a toxic relationship.
It seems that reality TV is becoming more realistic than ever, intentionally or not, it’s showcasing exactly what many women deal with in unhealthy relationships every day. And as women like Rebecca call out the behaviour and inspire women around them, there is hope that less and less people will be trapped in emotionally abusive relationships. So thank you Rebecca, we hope you and Winston (her cat) are enjoying the first of many fabulous, toxic-men-free days