Groom exposes ‘relentless abuse’
MARRIED At First Sight's Matthew Bennett, aka the former "29-year-old virgin", has finally broken his silence on bombshell claims made by his ex-"wife".
He famously lost his virginity to Lauren Huntriss during their "honeymoon" on the show, but things fell apart when Matthew openly told other contestants at the dinner party that he wasn't "attracted" to her. The couple broke up soon afterwards.
Speaking to Nova's Fitzy and Wippa this morning, the Sunshine Coast-based videographer - who has since found love with a new girlfriend - alleged that Lauren Huntriss has bombarded him with abusive messages since filming ended.
"There's been relentless contact towards me - I actually asked her to stop contacting me a couple of weeks ago," he told the radio hosts, confirming that she is "quite aggressive" and "upset".
"This has been going on since before the show started airing - the context of the messages, to put it bluntly, it's abuse. That's all it is."
Last week, reports surfaced that Channel Nine had banned contact between Matthew and Lauren.
"Apparently they've had no contact. They're not allowed to have contact with each other. I don't know if it's Nine (that's enforcing this) but something weird is happening … They used the word 'banned'," Kyle and Jackie O's executive producer revealed on air.
During the interview this morning, Matthew admitted his treatment of Lauren at the dinner party was unfortunate.
"It definitely wasn't the right venue for that to come out - but it wasn't a position I'd ever been in before, or feelings I'd dealt with before so it just came out," he explained.
It comes after Lauren's explosive interview with Kyle and Jackie O this week, where she lashed out at Matthew and claimed she'd been "manipulated" into saying she "used to be a lesbian" and was into "swinging" and "threesomes".
Matthew was evasive about whether these comments were really what had turned him off his "wife", but hinted that more had gone on behind the scenes.
"The more time we spent together, the more of her true colours I saw … The more things about her came out that maybe I wasn't that keen on," he said.
"A lot of things people didn't see because we're talking about 24 hours a day, seven days a week - all condensed into three one-hour episodes."
Matthew also subtly denied Lauren had been "stitched up" and forced into making salacious false claims about her sex preferences.
"When we go into the show, we're told that if anything notable happens off-camera that changes the dynamic of the relationship or how one person feels about another, we have to redo that conversation," he explained.
"So when someone decides to say these big things off-camera, of course we're going to have to redo that … and I'm not going to put words in her mouth, but what ended up coming out off-camera was a lot cleaner than what I got behind-the-scenes."
Here's what else Matthew revealed during the interview:
"ABDUCTED BY ALIENS"
During her bombshell KIIS interview this week, Lauren claimed Matthew genuinely believed he'd had an outer-space experience.
"He actually said: 'Loz, I feel like I don't fit in on this earth and I believe I was abducted by aliens and they've done something to my brain, because my brain has been rewired differently. I feel like my brain hasn't been the same since I was 15'," she told the radio hosts.
But according to Matthew, it was just a metaphor.
"That was actually a point where I was trusting Lauren and opening up to her, and I was telling her about a point in my life where I was my most depressed," he told Fitzy and Wippa. "I used the metaphor 'I felt like I was an alien, I couldn't connect to anyone, I felt isolated and alone, like I was from a different species'. That was how I was illustrating my depression - little did I know that Lauren doesn't know what a metaphor is. My mistake."
THE DRAMATIC HOSPITAL VISIT
During their honeymoon, Matthew was rushed to hospital feeling "really crook" after the pair had had an intimate bath together. His exact sickness was never explained, but it was implied he'd suffered some kind of panic attack.
In her interview on Kyle and Jackie O, Lauren hinted there was a "lot more to that" story.
"Was that an anxiety attack? What was that?" asked Beau Ryan, who was filling in for Kyle.
"Look, no comment," Lauren replied. "Yeah there was definitely more to that. Something I'm not going to disrespect Matt and discuss."
Addressing her response on Nova this morning, Matthew claimed to have no idea what she was alluding to.
"I don't know (what she means). To me, what I thought it was and what I still think it was like a physical manifestation of anxiety. There was so much pressure and so much anxiety that it actually manifested itself as stomach cramps and pain."
While he insisted he didn't regret signing up for the experiment, Matthew did concede that there had been "regrettable actions".
"It's regrettable how people have behaved since (filming ended) and what's gone on behind the scenes, but I don't regret doing (the show). Because of doing that, I've grown in myself, and learnt about relationships, and I'm doing things now that I wouldn't have done had I not gone through all of that."
MAFS' 'CHEATING' COUPLE
"My first impression of Ines was that I think she's got a lot of emotional baggage and she uses her past to cut others down and make them feel bad. As for Sam, I didn't spend a lot of time with him, but in the time he did spend with the guys, he seemed like a nice guy. I don't know what he's actually like."
"I got everything I asked for in the experiment (with new girlfriend Annabelle) - I just had to leave the experiment to get it."
Married At First Sight continues 7pm Sunday on Nine.