Aunt defends disgraced television star Justin
PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 January 2013
THE aunt of a famous comedian convicted of harassment says she wants to show ‘the real Justin Lee Collins’ after receiving dozens of phone calls about his rumoured appearance on Celebrity Big Brother.
Long-term charity fundraiser Carole Ashmore, aged 68, is campaigning for her nephew’s TV comeback after being bombarded with calls from fans, eager to know if he will appear on the Channel 5 show.
After rising to fame through his stand-up comedy, Collins became well known for presenting Channel 4’s The Friday Night Project alongside Alan Carr.
But last year Collins, aged 38, was convicted of harassment, by causing fear of violence, against his ex-girlfriend.
The father-of-two was sentenced to 140 hours of community service and ordered to pay £3,500 in prosecution costs.
Carole, who owns a caravan in Dolphin Park, Brean, just like the Bristol-born TV star, said: “I cannot tell you the amount of people, many of whom are from Brean, who have called me about Justin in the past few days.
“He has done so much good for charity, and yet he has been crucified by the press.
“I’ve had calls from people asking if he has been paid £100,000 to go into the Big Brother house.
“Over Christmas he told me he had no intentions of going in, but recently he did tell me he had been given the opportunity to take part in the show. When I saw him he had lost a lot of weight. It must have taken its toll on him.”
Despite insisting he is never violent, 38-year-old Justin did not appeal the verdict, and Carole has made it her mission to support her nephew.
She said: “I lived with him for three years when his father was in Saudi Arabia and I have never seen him in a temper.
“Justin has helped me raise £1,000 for Southmead Hospital in Bristol and what has spurred me on this week is all of the calls from his fans.
“It’s torn the family to bits. I have known Justin all of his life and people need to know about all of the good that he has done.
“He’s got lots of fans and I know he will bounce back.”
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