I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!

I'm A Celeb's Ajay Rochester opens up about her devastating back-story: "Four years of hell and torture"

The former Biggest Loser host has spoken out about a gruelling period of her life that left her homeless.

By Jess Pullar
After being thrown in the jungle with no communication with the outside world, we can't really blame I'm A Celebrity contestant Ajay Rochester for opening up to her campmates about something rather pivotal that occurred during her colourful life.
On episode four of the fifth season's opening week, the former Biggest Loser host got candid about a gruelling period of her life that left her homeless.
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Rochester, who went to court over a welfare fraud charge in 2009 pleaded guilty to obtaining a financial benefit by deception which resulted in an over payment of $14,000.
At the time, Ajay was taking steps to pay the money back, which was taken into account by the magistrate - and she avoided a criminal record.
But the 49-year-old was still heavily impacted by the ordeal.
Ajay got candid on Wednesday night's episode of I'm A Celebrity. (Image: Network Ten)
Detailing that time as "four years of hell and torture", the candid star detailed exactly how much the circumstances had cost her during Wednesday evening's episode.
Telling her campmates Jacqui Lambie and Sam Dastyari about being on a single parent pension with her 10-year-old son, Kai, she explained: "I thought I might have been overpaid. So I rang Centrelink and was like, 'Hey, look. I think I may have been overpaid. What do I do?'"
"I got a letter a few months after, I think six months after I started The Biggest Loser, saying that Centrelink were going to take me to court for fraud."
She said over seven years, there had been 14 times where she had accidentally received $70 extra cash.
After she was taken to court, she said everybody treated her like a criminal.
"[It] destroyed my career. I left Biggest Loser destitute, with no one wanting to hire me. And I had $7.11 to my name. I was literally homeless - like, literally homeless."
She explained that for a long period of time, she and her son had house sat at various friends homes because they had no where to go.
WATCH: Ajay Rochester explains why she left The Biggest Loser. Story continues after video...
Earlier this week, Woman's Day also revealed Ajay's circumstances when she then fled to Hollywood in 2010 with her son.
"When I first came here [to LA] I was a mess," she explained, saying she had hit rock bottom.
She also opened up about her former Biggest Loser colleague Michelle Bridges, with whom she's had a widely known feud with.
"I welcome an opportunity where we could have an adult conversation… But I refuse to base my self-worth on whether or not she hates me. I'd honestly rather lie in a pit of snakes than be locked in a coffin with her," she said.
She also jokingly said Michelle was the one celebrity she'd hate to see in the jungle.
"If she walked in I'd get a fork and stab myself. I'd prefer Satan."
Ajay starred alongside Michelle Bridges on The Biggest Loser. (Image: Getty Images)

Richard Reid's awkward jungle tale

Wednesday night's episode certainly wasn't short of dramatic tales - blue camp member and renowned gossip columnist Richard Reid also spilled on a rather awkward encounter that had previously occurred to him.
While speaking with campmates Natasha Exelby and Angie Kent, Reid discussed the less-than-glamorous encounter with none other than singer Ricky Martin.
"I met Ricky Martin in Los Angeles in the bathroom at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills," he explained.
"[I] went over, was washing my hands and then he came in and then he came up to the double sink... he goes, 'Hey.' and I'm like, 'Oh hey, how are you doing? Yeah this place is really nice huh.''
He admitted (or maybe hoped) that he'd wondered whether Ricky had followed him into the bathroom.
The pair had parted ways at the wash basin - but not before Reid suspected a lingering look.
So was it a moment? It seems Richard will never know!
Darn it! Richard almost had 'a moment' with famed international singer Ricky Martin! (Image: Network Ten)