Star of The Apprentice Lottie Lion has criticised the BBC for portraying her in a ‘horrific’ way and leaving her ‘high and dry’.
The librarian, 20, has said she is a ‘shell of the person she was’ before she went into the ‘intense process’.
In last night’s episode she was fired after a dramatic stint on the programme, which sees candidates vie for a £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar.
Upset: Star of The Apprentice Lottie Lion has criticised the BBC for portraying her in a ‘horrific’ way and leaving her ‘high and dry’
Miss Lion, who lasted 11 weeks in the process, last night told the Daily Mail the ‘tumultuous’ experience on the show has knocked her confidence ‘enormously’, so much so she doesn’t want to walk down the street alone.
She said: ‘I am a shell of the person I was when I initially went into that process. I now cannot leave the house without make-up on, I will not wear any clothes that will make me particularly stand out in public any more, I want to blend in as much as I possibly can.
‘I hate the attention being drawn to me in a situation where I might be by myself walking down a high street, it’s really intense. I don’t have a lot of confidence in comparison to before.’
The programme has shown Miss Lion rubbing fellow contestants up the wrong way and being forthright and ruthless with her rivals.
Regrets: The librarian, 20, has said she is a ‘shell of the person she was’ before she went into the ‘intense process’
Early on in the series she was forced to deny accusations of racism, bullying and homophobia made against her.
It came after it was reported Miss Lion had told fellow contestant Lubna Farhan, 33, to ‘Shut up, Gandhi’ and warned ‘I’ll f*** you up’ in a private WhatsApp group conversation, in an incident after filming on the show had ended. The BBC later described the comments Miss Lion had made as being ‘wholly unacceptable’.
Miss Lion last night said she felt there has been ‘a huge lack of support’ from the BBC. She also claimed she was dropped from the after-show process after giving an interview to a national newspaper in which she criticised the BBC.
She said: ‘The BBC have portrayed me in this horrendous way, they’ve left me high and dry. They told me that they knew I wasn’t a racist and yet went to the papers and said, “Yes, we don’t condone what Lottie’s done.”
Accusations: Early on in the series she was forced to deny accusations of racism after it was reported Miss Lion had told fellow contestant Lubna Farhan (pictured) to ‘Shut up, Gandhi’ and in a private WhatsApp group
Cutting ties: Miss Lion said she felt there has been ‘a huge lack of support’ from the BBC
‘So I went to do an interview to get my point across and they [BBC] just sent me an email at 8.30pm the day before I was due to come up to London and they said, “Lottie, we just can’t help you any more”. So they have basically abandoned me when they’ve caused the situation for me in the first place.’
During last night’s episode, Miss Lion was criticised for a business proposal she had made, which involved a members’ club for socially elite ladies of the countryside who would take part in monthly events including sporting, shooting and equestrianism.
Ahead of her firing, Lord Sugar said: ‘I just don’t get your business idea. There isn’t enough meat on the bones for us to have looked into the viability financially.’
Two other contestants, Pamela Laird and Lewis Ellis, were also fired from the process.
Under fire: During last night’s episode, Miss Lion was criticised for a business proposal she had made, which involved a members’ club for socially elite ladies of the countryside
Lord Sugar chose to send artisan bakery owner Carina Lepore and recruitment company owner Scarlett Allen-Horton to the final.
Reflecting on the process, Miss Lion said she wished she had just ‘faded into the background’. ‘I really was myself throughout the entire thing, so I can’t really say I wish I had done anything differently,’ she said.
‘I wish I had just been a bit quieter and just not so forthright with my decisions. I would be a lot less hated by the public if I had just faded into the background.’
Discussing the fall-out from the WhatsApp messages to Miss Farhan, she said they were ‘not in any way malicious or intended to be racist’. She added: ‘I do say that if I did offend her in any way I am so sorry because I never mean to offend anybody. If she did interpret that in a way that upset her I send her my deepest apologies.’
Boss: Lord Sugar chose to send artisan bakery owner Carina Lepore and recruitment company owner Scarlett Allen-Horton to the final
Unimpressed: Ahead of her firing, Lord Sugar said: ‘I just don’t get your business idea. There isn’t enough meat on the bones for us to have looked into the viability financially’
A spokesman for The Apprentice said: ‘Following an inquiry by the production company into the unacceptable comments made by Lottie on a private messenger service, she was informed that she would not be invited to participate in You’re Fired [a programme aired after the main show interviewing the fired candidate].
‘The wellbeing of the candidates that take part in The Apprentice is of paramount importance, and we have a thorough and robust duty of care protocol in place which includes an experienced network of support for candidates before, during and after filming – all of which is still available to Lottie.
‘Lottie has also been consistently offered local support at a location convenient to her.’
The BBC said: ‘While this happened on a private messenger service once filming had concluded, the BBC nevertheless still expects the candidates to behave appropriately.
‘The production company have looked into the issue and reported back, Lottie has been informed that her comments were wholly unacceptable and is in no doubt about our view on this.’
Speaking about her future, Miss Lion added: ‘Politics, the countryside and business in general is how I’m channelling my life. I am just trying to focus on my passions and what I enjoy.’
Finalists: Lord Sugar chose to send ecruitment company owner Scarlett Allen-Horton and artisan bakery owner Carina Lepore to the final