Geordie Shore pair call for more support to help reality stars cope with fame and online trolls
Two members of the Geordie Shore cast have called for more support for reality TV stars who struggle to adjust to life post-fame.
Sophie Kasaei and Aaron Chalmers have both appeared in MTV's hit show and said they had been targeted by online trolls.
They are calling for more help to be made available to people who appear on reality TV.
Speaking at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York, Chalmers, who has also appeared in Ex On The Beach, said: "You need more support. Online, if you're having a bad day or if you've got anxiety, people are going to bring you down.
"When people realise you might be a bit weaker, they do it more. I think people need a bit more help coming off reality TV shows.
"Imagine having everything given to you for two years - money, fame, cars. And once you're off telly, some people struggle to go back to normal life."
Chalmers, 31, from Newcastle, who is now pursuing a career as an MMA fighter, said trolls are not fans, but "just horrible people who probably hate their own lives".
Former Love Island contestant Sophie Gradon was found dead at her parents' home in June, with police saying there were not believed to be any suspicious circumstances. An inquest into the 32-year-old's death has been opened and adjourned.
Kasaei, 28, from South Shields, said: "Obviously, Sophie was from Newcastle so we all knew her. It was awful, horrendous.
"Reality TV is so big now, it's bigger than anything, you've got Love Island and stuff. And once it stops you can be forgotten about and that can mess you up."
Geordie Shore follows a cast of young men and women as they party in Newcastle. It premiered in 2011 and has so far spawned 18 series.
Kasaei put its popularity down to the relatability of the stars. She said: "It's what a lot of people do, no matter what age you were, or are now, everyone goes out and has a good time and lives their life. That's what we did. The beauty of it was none of us ever changed.
"It was never scripted. Some of the others can be a little bit scripted, but with our one we were allowed to run free."
:: Samaritans offers help through a free helpline on 116 123 or email by [email protected]