Mother of Lottie Lion claims ‘Shut up Gandhi‘ race row has left her daughter in floods of tears

Lottie Lion‘s family fears for her ‘sanity‘: Apprentice star‘s mother accuses the of failing to check on her 19-year-old daughter‘s welfare after ‘Shut up Gandhi‘ racism row triggered a torrent of abuse

Controversial teenager Lottie Lion may be the star of The Apprentice, but friends have raised fears about the show’s impact on her wellbeing after she was accused of racism

Controversial teenager Lottie Lion may be the star of The Apprentice, but friends have raised fears about the show’s impact on her wellbeing after she was accused of racism.

They also question what TV bosses have done to protect the 19-year-old, who is one of the show’s youngest ever candidates.

Miss Lion denies accusations of racism, bullying and homophobia. But she came in for criticism after telling fellow contestant Lubna Farhan, 33, to ‘Shut up Gandhi’ and warning ‘I’ll f*** you up’ in a WhatsApp group conversation.

Miss Lion said Miss Farhan had misquoted Gandhi and made a cruel comment about a friend who had died.

The said of the spat: ‘Her comments were wholly unacceptable.’

Contestants also claimed that Miss Lion said the part of Somerset she grew up in had a low crime rate ‘because not many black people live there’.

However, her mother has told friends of her fears for her daughter’s state of mind in the six weeks she spent in the candidates’ house during filming.

Her concerns come in the wake of a debate about reality TV shows’ duty of care following tragedies linked to The Jeremy Kyle Show and Love Island.

Miss Lion’s mother, Stephanie Blackmore, a former diplomat, told one confidante: ‘It was awful. Charlotte was on the phone in floods of tears on several occasions.

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‘I was very worried about the effect of the attacks on her by other candidates. Since the show has aired it is a constant barrage of vile comment on social media. It is very debilitating for her.’

Mrs Blackmore’s friend said she attempted to talk Miss Lion out of appearing on the show, adding: ‘From the outset Stephanie tried to persuade Lottie not to enter the process.

‘She feared it wouldn’t be a positive experience, and sadly those fears are being more than realised. It used to be a programme about finding great business minds. 

‘Now it is about conflict and cruelty. It was obvious they would love Lottie’s forthrightness and quickly they realised they had struck TV gold.

‘She is a bright, beautiful girl but rather than focus on those qualities they seem far keener to edit things to highlight her controversial side. She has become a hate figure.’

Paddy Groves of Woods Wine Bar, in Dulverton, Somerset, where Miss Lion waited at tables, said: ‘She was popular with customers.’ 

But a former colleague at the bar said: ‘She was very full of herself. We used to call her Superstar – and it wasn’t in an endearing way.’

An Apprentice spokesman said: ‘The wellbeing of the candidates is of paramount importance. We have a thorough and robust duty-of-care protocol which includes an experienced network of support before, during and after filming.’

This is thought to include meeting a consultant psychotherapist during casting as well as access to psychologists during and after filming, plus advice on social media and handling the Press.


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