After a year together, James Argent and his controversially young girlfriend Stella Turian have split, leaving the TOWIE star ‘heartbroken’.
The 35-year-old TV star has been open about his adoring, PDA-filled relationship with Stella, who is 16 years his junior.
He eagerly described how he met her family, how he won her parents over, and how the couple was said to be moving in together.
Fans and fellow celebrities like Katherine Ryan chastised Arg for the age-gap connection, which began when the law student was 18.
Although the age difference caused controversy, it is not thought to be a factor behind the split which an insider told DailyMail had left him ‘heartbroken’.
‘Despite being in a long-distance relationship, James and Stella managed to make things work for over a year,’ a source told the paper.
Stella lives in the Italian Alps, studying law and acting, making it difficult for her to see the reality TV star who lives in London.
According to the source, it was these ‘job responsibilities’ that caused a schism between the couple, as it became ‘increasingly difficult’ for them.
Arg and Stella are still Instagram friends, but they haven’t posted any photos together on the platform since the TOWIE star’s 35th birthday.
The romance was slammed by comedian Katherine, 40, who posted a steely expression as she zoomed in on her face, in a video which she captioned: ‘Me – a mother – finding out a 35 Towie star has an 18-year-old girlfriend.’
When Holly Willoughby was asked about the romance on This Morning in June, she told a blushing Arg: ‘She’s stunning.’
Dermot O’Leary joined in awkwardly to inform James he was ‘punching,’ to which James laughed and verified the relationship.
The insider continued: ‘There are no hard feelings between them, they still follow each other on Instagram, and James is even invited to come out to ski with Stella and her family early next year.
‘They made lasting memories, travelling around the most romantic parts of Italy together and Stella visited London for the first time to see James, but for now they have mutually agreed that their relationship is over.’