Celeb's Go Dating's Nadia Essex reveals she lost her home, friends and family over bullying row with co-star Eden Blackman - as she speaks for the first time since her case against him was thrown out of court.
- Nadia, 37, was suspended from Celebs Go Dating in September last year
- Took co-star Eden Blackman and her former employer to employment tribunal
- Accused Eden of behaving like Harvey Weinstein but claims thrown out of court
- 'Devastated' Nadia has now set up online dating safety platform Rogue Daters
- Dating expert teamed up with private investigator Samantha Cooper
Nadia Essex is teaming up with a private investigator to catch online fraudsters – after admitting to setting up fake Twitter accounts to troll her former co-star Eden Blackman.
The 37-year-old, who was suspended from E4 show Celebs Go Dating in September 2018 over the revelation, said Rogue Daters will offer identity checks to help prevent people falling victim to scammers.
Since quitting her job on Celebs Go Dating, she's been forced to move out of her home after losing her income, and says that some family and friends have deserted her, because they didn't believe her accusations against former co-star, Eden.
Nadia said she was 'devastated' with the ruling, and is campaigning to have the law changed.
She told FEMAIL: 'You hope that when you're brave enough to actually call somebody out for doing you wrong, that the justice system believes you and is on your side, and you get justice.
But the dating expert revealed she is 'moving forwards' with her life after her employment tribunal case against Eden, who she accused of bullying and harassment, was dismissed on a technicality.
It was ruled that her claims were brought forward outside the three-month legal time limit.
'We've all grown up with movies where ultimately the bad guy loses and the good guys win.
'But in real life, that doesn't happen. Because you have silly laws, like a three-month time period that prevents justice from being done.
The fact the ruling wasn't struck out was a real step in the right direction for me for vindication.
'The judge does not believe that I behaved vexatiously or scandalously in terms of my conduct.'
Nadia was suing Eden and the show's producers, Lime Pictures, for gender-based discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
She was suspended from the show in September 2018 after setting up fake Twitter accounts to troll Eden, and then decided to quit.
However, Nadia said her actions were down to her mental state caused by the harassment she'd suffered over the two years she worked on the show.
Speaking about the fake accounts, Nadia said: 'It was so easy to get carried away. It's so easy to lose yourself – your nice, kind, normal self.
'When you're sucked into this whirlwind of hatred, you can't see the wood for the trees.
And it's only when you take a step back, you go, "Wow".'
'I didn't get offered any counselling support or aftercare at all during that time. I was told to stay out of the limelight and stay quiet. I got offered no direction.
'I chose the wrong path. But, I'm human. And now I know better, and now I understand and I know I could never go there again.'
Nadia said following her claims she has been 'shunned from everyone in the industry'.
She added: 'I've lost my job, I've lost my home, I've lost friends, I've lost family members that I don't speak to anymore, because they don't believe me
'I had a beautiful riverside flat in Fulham. I used to post glorious pictures of the amazing views.
'It was my happiest home I’ve lived in, and I devastated I couldn’t make it work. I couldn’t afford the rent, so I had to give it up and I am staying with a friend until I get back on my feet.
'Where's the duty of care for me?'
A spokesperson for Celebs Go Dating said: 'In addition to the support she received during Celebs Go Dating, following her departure independent psychological support still remains available to Nadia should she wish to accept it. The welfare of our everyone involved in the making of our programmes is of paramount importance to us.'
Eden Blackman has also responded, telling FEMAIL: 'Taking her past conduct about lying, Nadia has admitted to lying about key parts of her claim against me in open court.
'How plausible a witness would she be in those circumstances, given she freely admitted to lying during cross examination?
'The judge did have the discretion to allow the claim to proceed, irrelevant of the time issue but decided it wasn’t justified in the circumstances. The female judge clearly felt it was inequitable to allow the claim to proceed in the circumstances
'The multiple trolling accounts Nadia chose to create were live from January - August 2018. In court Nadia’s medical records from July 2016 to date were supplied given her ‘mental health’ claims and showed there to be no mental health discussions during the time the multiple trolling accounts were active.
'The only mention of Nadia’s mental health was dated September 2018, a time when Nadia was under investigation by Lime Pictures for the trolling accounts and then when Nadia was suspended from Celebs Go Dating for admitting to creating and running multiple trolling accounts (including the trolling of a child).'
However, Nadia said it was with her past experiences in mind that she set up an online dating safety platform called Rogue Daters with Samantha Cooper, who has been a private investigator for six years.
Nadia and Samantha, 51, from north west London, will offer verification checks to give daters peace of mind that the person they are speaking to online is who they claim to be.
As well as background checks, that cost £99 and include finding out whether the person has been married before or has children, services also include an asset check, for £195, and a social media check for £99.
Nadia said: 'The lack of support that I've had is something that really needs to change for other people.
'Rogue Daters will not only will help people find the truth in terms of who they think they might be dating, but actually go further and support people who have been catfished, or scammed, or just in general need support.
'It's about reminding people what the red flags are. People can lie online, and can come offline and keep up the lie.
If you've got a gut feeling that something's not quite right, it's about looking for the markers when the mask slips that reinforce that actually, this person may not be who they say they are.'
Samantha, who is a full member of The Association of British Investigators, said she will be using her professional investigative and computer skills, together with specialist databases and her network of industry connections both nationally and internationally.
She said: 'The online dating industry is booming, but unfortunately so is the number of dating frauds being committed.
'As soon as a person creates a profile on a dating platform, they are sharing personal, private information with a number of strangers.
I have previously completed investigations on behalf of clients who have been involved with people they met via an online dating site who have had false profiles, dishonest motives and even a convicted paedophile.
'This is what inspired Rogue Daters.'
Explaining Nadia's involvement, Samantha added: 'Nadia is the ideal person to partner with for Rogue Daters thanks to her experience in the dating world - she knows how to instil confidence in people, especially anybody who has fallen victim to a romance scam.
'She can pick them up and build them back up. And obviously she had been involved with these messages, she saw it from both sides and had a good understanding of it.
'It doesn't really matter who they are - it matters who they're not. It's about people knowing who they're talking to.'
Essex added: 'With my comprehensive dating expertise and Samantha's investigations skills, we've got all bases covered.
'We can help you if you have doubts about the person you have connected with or if you need some general dating confidence or advice.'
For more information visit roguedaters.co.uk
Source: Mail on line