By Simon Trump for the Daily Mail
Published: 22:04 GMT, 8 November 2019 | Updated: 02:54 GMT, 9 November 2019
Controversial teenager Lottie Lion may be the star of The Apprentice, but friends have raised fears about the show’s impact on her wellbeing after she was accused of racism
Controversial teenager Lottie Lion may be the star of The Apprentice, but friends have raised fears about the show’s impact on her wellbeing after she was accused of racism.
They also question what TV bosses have done to protect the 19-year-old, who is one of the show’s youngest ever candidates.
Miss Lion denies accusations of racism, bullying and homophobia. But she came in for criticism after telling fellow contestant Lubna Farhan, 33, to ‘Shut up Gandhi’ and warning ‘I’ll f*** you up’ in a WhatsApp group conversation.
Miss Lion said Miss Farhan had misquoted Gandhi and made a cruel comment about a friend who had died.
The BBC said of the spat: ‘Her comments were wholly unacceptable.’
Contestants also claimed that Miss Lion said the part of Somerset she grew up in had a low crime rate ‘because not many black people live there’.
However, her mother has told friends of her fears for her daughter’s state of mind in the six weeks she spent in the candidates’ house during filming.
Her concerns come in the wake of a debate about reality TV shows’ duty of care following tragedies linked to The Jeremy Kyle Show and Love Island.
Miss Lion’s mother, Stephanie Blackmore, a former diplomat, told one confidante: ‘It was awful. Charlotte was on the phone in floods of tears on several occasions.