Nikki Grahame battled anorexia since age 7 after cruel comment in gym class

NIKKI Grahame just lost her life to an eating disorder and it was something she had lived with since childhood.

The Big Brother died on Friday at the age of 38 after a long battle with anorexia.

Rex Features

Big Brother star Nikki Grahame has died aged just 38[/caption]

Nikki wrote in her 2012 autobiography, Fragile, that she was just seven-years-old when she started to get cruel comments about her weight.

In the book, she recalled one girl at her gymnastics club at the time made a cruel “big bum” comment, which triggered something inside her to believe that to be more “popular” and “succeed” in the sport she had to be “skinny”.

She penned: “Somewhere in my seven-year-old brain I started to think that to be better at gymnastics and to be more popular, I had to be skinny.

“And because I didn’t just want to be better than I was at gymnastics, but to be the best, then I couldn’t just be skinny. I would have to be the skinniest.”

Getty – Contributor

She had battled an eating disorder since she was a child[/caption]

Previously, Nikki’s mum Sue told This Morning the moment she realised “something was wrong” with the star aged just seven, when they headed out for dinner as a family.

At the time, her father, who worked in IT for a London bank, became embroiled in a disciplinary action at work, which left him stressed and angry.

Sue’s marriage to Nikki’s father, who she was very close to, broke down in the wake of his work stress and felt the tensions at their North-West home proved to be too much for her.

Sue said: “We had a lot of stuff going on. You know, my dad got very sick and of course that affected me and I think she was worried for me and I tried to put on a brave face.

Roger Crump – The Sun

Nikki was first admitted to a psychiatric ward when she was only 12 years old[/caption]

“We had other things going on, my marriage broke up and my husband had struggles at work so I know (our home) wasn’t a happy place.

“One point stands in my mind. She was seven and we went to a restaurant and Nikki stood beside me, she wouldn’t actually sit, she was just beside me and it was around that time that I noticed, she started refusing to eat, that’s the one thing that stuck in my mind.”

Nikki has been open about her anorexia battle since finding fame in Big Brother back in 2006, releasing autobiography Dying To Be Thin in 2009.


Her mother Sue opened up about noticing Nikki not wanting to eat from age seven[/caption]

She has been fighting the illness since she was a child, and was first admitted to a psychiatric hospital at the age of 12 following a suicide bid.

At one point, Nikki had to be force fed through a nasal tube after she starved herself.

Sue also explained how her daughter’s most recent health battle was sparked when gyms closed during lockdown as the star dreaded eating if she couldn’t exercise.


Nikki and Sue in happier times[/caption]

She said: “With Covid, it sounds crazy but stuff like gyms closing impacted her.

“In order for her to eat she needs to know she can exercise, so when they closed it was quite a worry, the isolation as well.

“I asked her if she would come and stay with me but she said she needs to be in her home.”

“She was (suffering terminal loneliness) she felt very cut off and spending too much time on her own with not enough to think about other than food.


The reality star opened up about her experience with anorexia in her book, Dying to be Thin[/caption]

“It all came to a grinding halt. Also for Nikki, she would muddle herself through the year knowing she’s got friends abroad and she would visit them.

“She spent a lot of time last year cancelling holidays.”

Sue’s revelations come after Nikki’s haunting last Instagram post where she admitted she “seriously can’t deal” with another lockdown.

The Big Brother star checked into a private hospital to treat her eating disorder last month after her desperate friends managed to raise more than £65,500 to start paying for life-saving care.

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If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:



Channel 4

Nikki became an icon of British TV after starring in the 2006 of Big Brother[/caption]

However, her passing was confirmed in a statement today on her GoFundMe page.

It read: “It is with great sadness, we have to let you know that our dear friend Nikki passed away in the early hours of Friday 9th April.

“It breaks our hearts to know that someone who is so precious was taken from us at such a young age. Nikki not only touched the lives of millions of people, but also her friends and family who will miss her immensely.

“We would like to request privacy at this difficult time, while Nikki’s friends and family process the sad news.

Darren Fletcher – The Sun

She passed away on Friday after checking in to a clinic for life-saving care[/caption]

“Full details will be released as and when we know them.”

It continued: “All donations have been greatly appreciated and it was heartwarming for everyone including Nikki to see how much she was loved.”

Nikki Grahame’s rep Freddie White also said in a statement: “It is with immeasurable sadness that Nikki Grahame passed away in the early hours of Friday 9th April 2021. Please respect the privacy of Nikki’s friends and family at this tragic and difficult time.”

Following the news, tributes immediately started pouring in for Nikki from her fellow Big Brother contestants, reality stars and celebrities who had met her.

For help and support on eating disorders and body image, you can call Beat Eating Disorders on 0808 201 1677 for adults, or 0808 801 0711 if you are under 18.



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