'It changed him': Mum's heartache for son after reality TV
SEXUALITY rumours and assumptions of a gender change have driven a former reality TV star into a dark place after a tirade of abuse, according to his family.
Sean Thomsen, former contestant of popular series Married at First Sight , was slammed for his appearance at the reunion show resulting in "ridiculous" rumours about his personal life.
Fans drew comparisons to Ellen DeGeneres after he wore a shiny gold suit and bleached his hair blonde and since the show ended, he has reportedly become a "changed man" and suffered the consequences of life in the public eye.
Sean's mum, Carol Thomsen said her son returned home to Cooroy for Christmas but was very "distant" and not himself.
He confronted the sexuality rumours in April, 2018 saying he was "the blokiest bloke" he knew but Mrs Thomsen said the repercussions since Sean was mocked on social media were obvious.
"It's changed him into a different person," she said.
"For the last year it's really affected him.
"The contestants know what they're going into but they don't sign up for all impacts after with no support."
Mrs Thomsen said Sean was called up for the show in 2016, filming began in 2017 and the show aired last year.
Sean, 35, was originally paired with Blair on the show, but revealed a new relationship with Tracey after the it ended. They've since separated.
Mrs Thomsen said watching the edited version was the hardest part.
"As a mum, it was difficult to watch and see how much of it was different," she said.
"The comments he received have really gotten to his head and he's just focusing on work."
Mrs Thomsen also said the time in the limelight meant dating was difficult for her son.
Sean was a shift-worker in Port Headland and was now living in Melbourne.
His split with Tracy, 36 was described as being "chewed up and spat out" in an interview with Woman's Day in May.
Mrs Thomsen said Sean was fortunate enough to go straight back to work and still kept in touch with some of his fellow contestants.
Sean was writing a book about the truth behind the show and his experiences.