The clear winner of this year’s Celebrity Big Brother was Shilpa Shetty, the Bollywood superstar who is now an international name and has been hobnobbing with British politicians, the glitterati and Hollywood.
The racism row that engulfed Celebrity Big Brother gave her the stage and she graciously rode out the storm within the house to become a favourite of the British viewers, rightly appalled at the mindless bullying by some of her fellow housemates and deeply admiring the way Shilpa Shetty held onto her composure and refused to allow herself to be dragged into the gutter.
Now that the dust has settled somewhat what has become of the bullies; Jade Goody, Danielle Lloyd and Jo O’Meara and not forgetting, Jackiey Budden (Jade Goody’s mother).
Jade Goody probably thought in her no-so-bright way, that she was writing headlines by her behaviour. She may have thought in a rather niave (some would say stupid) way that the headlines would have been things like; “Goody v’s Shetty” or “Jade goes head to head with Shilpa” – enough to raise her (Jade’s) profile in the press but nothing that bad. How poorly she read the public mood or even understood her own behaviour.
Unfortunately for her fellow contestants, Danielle Lloyd and Jo O’Meara, she dragged them like schoolgirls so afraid of the playground bully that they become her sidekicks rather than be on the receiving end, into the ugliness she unleashed.
So who became the real-life losers?
Jade Goody has lost all credibility with the public. The column inches she used to fill in so many magazines, built on her position of underdog rather than mafia-like underboss, are almost gone and so is the interview income she used to earn.
Her perfume brand, Shh, was withdrawn from the shelves of The Perfume Shop chain in direct response to the controversy. The company that makes the perfume bottle, Pragati Glass, ironically an Indian firm, received word in January from the UK producer, Jean Christian, to cease production of the perfume bottles due to the expected crash in sales.
Jade Goody’s mother, Jackiey Budden, is currently being investigated by Benefit bosses and officials at Southwark council over claims she has earnt thousands while on benefits. The 48-year-old lesbian could be forced to move out of her home if she is found guilty of benefit fraud.
As a result of her behaviour on the show, Danielle Lloyd lost six-figure modelling contracts with motorcycle insurance firm Bennetts, fashion label Rocawear as well as other minor sponsorship deals. Speculation exists over whether she has also been dumped by her boyfriend, Teddy Sheringham, the ex-England and Premiership footballer.
Jo O’Meara, who had hoped for a career boost has probably paid the highest price of all since her appearance on the show appears to have led directly to her suffering for all intents and purposes, a nervous breakdown. She had hoped to earn enough money to avoid losing her home. Now she has lost her health and may never recover.