Brad Skelly, a Married At First Sight UK contestant, was thrown off the programme after displaying ‘controlling’ and’manipulative’ conduct towards his new bride.
The model, 27, met and married Shona Manderson as part of the sociological experiment, but specialists Paul C Brunson, Charlene Douglas, and Mel Schilling were worried and had to interfere after stressing that his actions may become ‘hazardous’.
This followed after Brad referred to Shona, 31, as ’emotionally immature’ and discussed ‘enabling’ his wife to become upset.
Sitting on the couch in front of the experts and the other couples, after Shona had become upset at a recent dinner party when she discovered that the other contestants didn’t think too highly of their marriage, Brad said: ‘It’s a Catch-22, because, not that I’m in a position of authority or to teach her, but if I allow her to get angry, is she ever going to learn?’
He also told her to ‘shut up’ during a dinner party, before Mel warned him: ‘I want to make sure you’re aware of the language you’re using with her and giving her the space to think for herself. She’s an independent thinker and she’s got a lot to bring to the table.’
Brad has now been removed from both the experiment and the TV show.
In a statement, a Channel 4 spokesperson said: ‘The couple’s exit plays out in the show. It was agreed alongside experts Paul, Mel and Charlene that the intensive Married at First Sight environment was not working for the couple and it was the right time to leave the experiment.
‘The relationships on Married at First Sight UK are closely monitored off screen, by production and an independent psychologist.
‘If any of the relationships develop in a way that is deemed to be potentially unhealthy for either party, we would take expert psychological advice as to whether it was time for them to leave the process.
‘The welfare of all contributors on Married at First Sight UK is our top priority and we ensure that appropriate support is available to contributors at all times during filming, including 24/7 access to a member of the welfare team or psych support.’
The Channel 4 statement comes after a source told The Sun that Brad and Shona’s relationship was ‘getting toxic’.
The insider added: ‘Bosses stepped in before the situation got out of hand.’
Women’s Aid has also stepped in, applauding Mel, Paul, and Charlene for intervening and questioning Brad, a father of one.
‘It is really important that the experts on the show called this out as controlling behaviour and challenged Brad’s view that it was acceptable to say that he had the right to “allow” Shona to be angry,’ the charity said in a statement to MailOnline.
‘TV programmes like these, which are based on the formation of relationships, need to be aware of the dynamics of controlling and coercive behaviour, and always send a clear message that it is wholly unacceptable.’
After the episode went to air, Shona has since revealed watching the scenes back made for ‘uncomfortable viewing’, while she added she would ‘never again put up with this behaviour.’
Sharing a picture of herself on the show, she wrote on Instagram: ‘In this moment I’m trying to be so positive and give it all I’ve got because I’m really trying to believe in us and what I was feeling was so intense and heightened.
‘The last two nights have been hard to watch and I know tonight will be even trickier. I’m aware of the insecurities I have, this experiment really bought them to the surface.
‘Firstly I didn’t like the feeling that the group were talking about us in a negative way, I admit I want to be liked but I needed validation as deep down in my gut I knew there was truth in what people were saying and I was almost trying to convince myself.’
She went on to explain how she felt ‘completely infatuated in that relationship’ and had got lost and been silenced while trying to ‘defend us as a couple’.
‘It’s difficult to see what everyone else could see and what you are watching play out now. It’s uncomfortable to see this from the outside perspective and feeling what arises up for me in witnessing what everyone else could see and now you’re watching it play out just as we watch it for the first time.’
She went on to explain that she had ‘come far’ since then and had ended up with a ‘very, very happy ending’.
Brad also took to social media after the episode aired, saying: ‘It can be very easy for people to have an opinion on a situation they’ve never been in themselves there’s a lot of factors at play.’
He went on: ‘You’re not seeing the whole picture so it’s one of them where it can become a very challenging and suffocating and testing environment for everyone involved.’
He added that he took ‘full responsibility’ for his actions, continuing: ”There’s comments about me being narcissistic, a bully and things like that and that’s really not who I am.
‘Everyone that knows me physically can tell you I’m not that person the painting is developing to be – but I’m getting that’s what shown.’
In the lengthy video shared to Instagram, Brad said: ‘I’m not a controlling person at all – anybody who knows me personally knows I don’t have one controlling bone in my body.
‘Within the show, when I’ve said to Shona “you’re allowed to feel” that’s not me giving permission that’s my terminology saying “you’re a human being you’re allowed to feel every emotion the universe gives you”. I can see how that’s come across there’s just a lot of crossed wires.’
‘It’s difficult for me to watch, because I’m watching back at potentially all of my worst parts that are amplified,’ he added.
‘You’re watching a television programme, its aim is entertainment so please try not to take it at face value that every person on there is how they are on the outside because with myself that’s most definitely not the case,’ Brad concluded.
Married At First Sight airs weeknights at 9pm on E4.