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Pete Bennett has hit out at Imogen Thomas for 'publicly shaming' him after he shared his last text message from Nikki Grahame, before she sadly passed away earlier this month.
Taking to Instagram, Pete, 39 said his tribute to Nikki was "from the heart" and asked Imogen to "leave him alone" to grieve.
"In such a sad time of grief I've just had to witness Imogen Thomas trying to publicly shame me on her Instagram.You know, 'Nikki's best friend'. I'm sorry but how cruel can you get?" He wrote online.
"Now, About selling the final text, I didn't sell anything, my tribute to Nikki in heat mag was from the heart and for no money and I sent love to Nikki's family and friends in it too.
"Contrary to what Imogen is saying, Nikki gave me permission to upload the final picture of us saying it was a 'lovely picture'. I put a link underneath the picture of the fundraiser to raise some funds for her care so she could get better whilst Imogen was promoting McCain oven chips and sending me daggers.
"The only person who sent me any negativity at the time was Imogen whilst I was trying to do my best for Nikki and has continued to troll me ever since , but I kept it to myself and didn't make it public.
"Meanwhile everybody else has been supportive to me. I may not of seen Nikki as much as I used to see her the last year but we were always in contact and when I found out she was really ill I did everything I could to b there for her.
"Imogen's efforts at trolling me has gone too far now whilst I'm trying to grieve for Nikki and this crazy ownership Imogen thinks she has over (who nikkis friends are) needs to be stopped.
"I never claimed to be nikkis 'best friend', but actions speak louder than words. Get over it Imogen, I was nikkis friend and leave me the f*** alone to grieve. Maybe you could do a nice tribute for her instead of lying about me publicly for attention.
"Anyway I've had enough of fake people and bullies. And I won't be shamed publicly by this troll for being a good mate when Nikki needed support and will stick up for myself in any way I can, Love you Nikki."
Pete's post came after Imogen took to her Instagram Stories yesterday saying she "couldn't keep quiet any longer".
"I can't bear to read another sold story by Pete Bennett. You Pete have no shame with your endless stories about Nikki," she wrote.
"You saw her once within a year, took a haunting photo of her, put it up on Instagram against everyone's wishes claiming you helped her.
"You were not there for her. Now this is not about you - this is about Nikki.
"How dare you! Please allow her family and close friends [to] grieve and just stop cashing in at every opportunity. Selling last texts is the ultimate betrayal. I'm disgusted and feel for her family. Enough."
Pete had shared the text message in a Heat column, explaining: "I told myself she'd get well again and we planned to do Kate Bush karaoke together one day as a duet when she was better.
"She smiled and said, 'Yes! When I'm well again'. So, she was up for getting better... A few days later, she texted my to say. 'Hey Petie, all good my end. Starting a clinic on Monday, which is good. And the sun is shining today!'
"... I was looking to contact Kate Bush to see if she could send Nikki a message as I honestly thought that giving her a boost from her hero would help her start to feel more positive and recover."
Nikki died on 9th April, at the age of 38, following a battle with anorexia.
Just weeks before Nikki's death, the Big Brother star had checked into a private hospital using £65,500 funded by friends and fans. And when Nikki's fundraiser was shared last month, in a bid to raise money for her hospital treatment, Pete shared the link on his own page as well as a photo of the pair.
"Pete and Nikki March 2021 visiting my nikki and still cuddling to this day :)," he wrote. "Remember the fundraiser to help get her into a specialist anorexia clinic is in my bio!"
Featured Image Credit: PA
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