This Morning and Strictly Come Dancing star Dr Ranj Singh has spoken out after facing backlash from the father of his ex-wife.
The family of Sulvinder Samra, who the ITV star was married to for five years before coming out as gay, spoke out in an interview, claiming they “can’t bear” to watch him on TV.
Dr Ranj, 39, spoke out in a statement on Twitter following the remarks, thanking friends and family and even wishing his former wife’s family “all the very best for the future” despite their remarks about him.
He wrote: “Today, a newspaper has published details of a very difficult time in my life, which happened 10 years ago.
“All I would like to say is that the process of realising who you are, and being able to be your truest self, is different for everyone, and often not easy.
“My realisation happened later in life and was heartbreaking for all involved. Luckily, I had the support of great friends and family, but not everyone has that which is why I have shared my story before in the hope that it may help others.
“I have nothing but respect for my ex-wife and her family, whom I was very close to, and wish them all the best for the future.”
His ex-wife’s family had broken their silence to MailOnline, with Sulvinder’s father, Mr Samra, saying: “A lot of years have passed but whenever I see him on television I either turn it off, switch channels or just walk out of the room. He still brings back a lot of painful memories for me.
“The marriage and why they divorced had a devastating impact on us all. We never expected anything like this would happen and if I’m being honest, it’s something that is still a little difficult for me. I have obviously accepted it but it’s still hard.”
He added: “Your daughter marrying a doctor is a dream for most Asian parents. It was a fantastic wedding and we thought he was the perfect match for her.
“We knew they were having some problems about two years into the marriage but didn’t really know the full extent of what was going on. When I discovered that it was because of his sexuality, I just couldn’t get my head around it. Perhaps I’m just too old to understand these things.”
Sulvinder and Ranj met in 2003 and dated for a year before getting engaged. They married in 2006 in a traditional Sikh ceremony. The pair divorced in 2011. Ranj opened up on his sexuality in 2015, announcing that he was gay and that the end of his marriage was the “lowest moment” in his life.
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