Gary Goldsmith's Casting On Celebrity Big Brother Comes Under Fire From Women's Abuse Charity

Gary Goldsmith makes his way into the Celebrity Big Brother house
Gary Goldsmith makes his way into the Celebrity Big Brother house James Veysey/Shutterstock

The decision to cast Gary Goldsmith in the current series of Celebrity Big Brother has raised eyebrows not just for his connection to the Royal Family, but over an incident from his past.

Gary, the uncle of Kate Middleton, pleaded guilty in 2017 to punching his wife in the face during a fight outside their home, for which he was sentenced to a 12-month community order and a £5,000 fine.

After he was revealed on Monday night to be one of 12 housemates on the new series of Celebrity Big Brother, the domestic violence organisation Women’s Aid spoke out against the casting choice.

“The decision to include a man who has been charged, and pleaded guilty to, assaulting his wife, in the Celebrity Big Brother house demonstrates the lack of awareness that the production team has when it comes to survivors of domestic abuse,” a spokesperson told Metro on Tuesday morning.

Producers should consider how Gary Goldsmith’s appearance will impact women who have survived domestic abuse and how they will feel watching him on TV every night.”

They added: “At Women’s Aid we would urge the producers to consider how they approach this, as for many survivors of abuse, the inclusion of men convicted of abuse in entertainment programmes will already be a sign that these crimes are not taken seriously – the entertainment industry has to consider the impact on women of who they give a platform to and derive entertainment value from.”

Gary Goldsmith is one of this year's most controversial signings
Gary Goldsmith is one of this year's most controversial signings Ray Burmiston/ITV

A Big Brother spokesperson told HuffPost UK: “All housemates undertake training in language and behaviour before entering the Big Brother house. All behaviour in the house is strictly monitored at all times.”

They also pointed to a previous apology made by Gary, in which he said: “I’m not perfect and I made a mistake, a personal row seven years ago which was publicly exposed that I’ve worked endlessly for seven years to put right.

“The offence is long since spent however my regret continues.”

Following the 2017 altercation, it was reported that Gary and his wife, Julie-Ann Brown, had reconciled.

“When two people really care about each other they will always look for a way to make it work, no matter how hard it is,” he wrote on X (then still known as Twitter) the following year, as reported by the Daily Mail.

In his Celebrity Big Brother introduction video, Gary said: “I often read that people think I’m a bit of a bad boy. It would be lovely to put the record straight, but winding people up is probably my favourite hobby.

“Every part of me is just riddled with mischief and danger. I’m an absolute nightmare to live with. There’s a reason why I’ve had four wives.”

Help and support:

If you, or someone you know, is in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. If you are not in immediate danger, you can contact:

  • The Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run by Refuge: 0808 2000 247

  • In Scotland, contact Scotland’s 24 hour Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline: 0800 027 1234

  • In Northern Ireland, contact the 24 hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline: 0808 802 1414

  • In Wales, contact the 24 hour Life Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800.

  • National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428

  • Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327

  • Respect helpline (for anyone worried about their own behaviour): 0808 802 0321