Is TOWIE cursed? Huge number of crimes, scandals and tragedies have hit stars of The Only Way Is Essex

It’s known for fake tan, shiny veneers, and the notorious Sugar Hut nightclub, but The Only Way Is Essex has also gained a reputation for an off-screen crimewave.

While there is plenty of drama on the reality show come soap opera, a number of the cast and their partners have been embroiled in scandals away from the cameras.

Some behaviour has resulted in stars being suspended from the ITVBe show, and others have been put behind bars.

Here we take a look at convictions, scandals, and tragedies among the Essex group:

READ MORE: ‘I think the stigma has worn off’: The stars who have joined Hollyoaks’ Sarah Jayne Dunn with OnlyFans accounts

Arthur Collins

Arthur Collins and Ferne McCann

TOWIE star Fearne McCann’s ex-boyfriend Arthur Collins was jailed in December 2017 for 20 years.

He carried out a brutal acid attack in a packed London nightclub, where sixteen people suffered chemical burn injuries.

At the time of his sentencing, Collins was already serving a six-month sentence, suspended for a year, after punching a man outside a nightclub in Greenwich – leaving the victim needing 20 stitches.

Dan Edgar

Dan with on-off girlfriend Amber Turner on TOWIE

Dan Edgar is banned from promoting or running a business until 2031, OK reports.

The TOWIE star was taken to court in 2017 after his involvement in Reco Commodities – an investment business that sold diamonds and jewels to customers at an inflated price and then failed to deliver them.

Dan was forced to sign a disqualification which means he cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company for 13 years.

His involvement in the company was made public after the company ended up in the High Court in 2015 for making multiple false sales of diamonds, reportedly leaving customers up to £450,000 out of pocket.

Mike Hassini

On November 10, former cast member Mike Hassini admitted drug dealing and possession of criminal property.

Police seized a large quantity of cocaine and cash at the Essex property where he was living.

The 26-year-old, who was remanded in custody at Snaresbrook Crown Court, is to be sentenced at a later date.

It’s not the first time the personal trainer has appeared in court as in 2018, Hassini admitted to money laundering for bogus firms Bridgewater Associates and RSD Assets, the Mirror reports.

He owned up to his part in scamming 28 investors out of up to £450,000 by selling them diamond investments which then disappeared. He was handed a 15-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months.

Joey Morrison

Lauren Goodger

Lauren Goodger, Mark Wright’s ex, dated jailbird Joey Morrison for two years.

In 2010, he was sentenced to 16 years in prison after dressing as a postman to burgle properties in Enfield, north London.

Two years later, whilst Lauren was starring in the show, her salon, Lauren’s Way suffered an arson attack, less than 24 hours after its glitzy launch party.

At the time, in 2012, she told the Mirror: “I didn’t realise there were so many nasty and bitter people out there.

“I’m just glad that no one was in the shop at the time.”

Stephen Mortimer

The queen of Essex, Gemma Collins, also dated criminal Stephen Mortimer for 15 months between 2015 and 2016.

Shortly after their split, he was jailed for two years for burglary after breaking into a house in the middle of the afternoon and stealing £100 in coins.

In past interviews, the GC has admitted she has a soft spot for ‘bad boys’.

When asked for her type during her stint on Celebs Go Dating, she responded: “Gangsters. I’ve always been interested in gangsters and you know… bad boys.”

James Lock

James Lock with his ex Yazmin Oukhellou

James Lock, who is now reportedly dating Love Island’s Megan Barton Hanson, has also had run-ins with the police.

The 34-year-old was suspended from TOWIE in 2014 after being arrested for possessing Class A drugs and criminal damage after he and another man were involved in a dispute with a taxi driver.

Lock was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £85 in costs.

Mario Falcone

Mario Falcone

Mario Falcone was also involved in a drug scandal, allegedly caught on camera snorting cocaine, and was suspended from the show as a result.

In 2014, a video appeared to show Mario taking the stimulant in a friend’s kitchen.

He later apologised for the incident, saying: “I would like to publicly apologise to my loyal family and friends, all of my co-stars on Towie, to ITV and most importantly all of the fans.”

When The Sun asked about the video, Mario said: “The industry we are in and the age I am, you do things that are out of character and very immature and that is part of growing up. I think it was just part of growing up.

“It wasn’t a dark place or anything like I have been in the past, it was just stupidity. It is a lesson learned. It is what it is. Legally I have been advised not to talk about it too much.”

James Argent

James Argent on This Morning

James, known as Arg, was also suspended from TOWIE in the same year (2014) after failing a drugs test.

He’s since had a number of stints in rehab over cocaine addiction.

Dan Osborne

Dan Osborne and Dan Edgar of TOWIE

Dan Osborne, who is married to EastEnders’ Jacqueline Jossa, was dropped from TOWIE in 2015 after a distressing recording emerged of him ranting at ex-girlfriend Megan Tomlinson.

The father-of-three was arrested and released by Essex police without charge following the release of the first audio tape in March. A second tape was released shortly afterwards.

He released a statement apologising to his family and fans, saying: “It has taken me a while to find the right words but I would like to say that I am truly sorry to anyone who was offended by what they heard.

“I am unable to talk about the difficulties with my current family situation but I am taking steps to resolve it to achieve the best outcome for my son. I am ashamed and embarrassed that I allowed myself to reach such a dark place that I behaved in a way that even I didn’t recognise.

“While I acknowledge that there is absolutely no excuse for my deeply regrettable behaviour, I plead for some understanding that I had no intention of violence.”

Daniel Harris

The Scouse boyfriend of Towie star Cara Kilbey was jailed for two years in 2017 after he was found guilty of stashing £116,000 of criminal cash in his daughter’s bedroom.

Police had launched a covert surveillance operation tracking Harris’s movements over the course of more than a year before swooping to arrest him in March 2016, Liverpool Echo reports.

Harris, originally from Liverpool, who lived with his celebrity girlfriend in Theydon Bois, Essex, denied having anything to do with drug dealing.

Harris said: “It may well have come from crime or some sort of criminal activity but I don’t know the origins of it.”

David Chatwood

Sam and Billie Faiers

In the ITVBe show Sam and Billie Faiers: The Mummy Diaries, the sisters opened up about writing to their stepfather, who they treat as their real dad, in prison as they were growing up.

David Chatwood, known as Dave Chatty, was jailed for 12 years in 2002 after being found with a haul of 140,000 ecstasy tablets, 130kg of cannabis, two pistols and live ammunition, the Daily Star Sunday revealed.

He was jailed again in 2013 for four years for his part in a £1.1 million bullion robbery – but because he had already served seven-and-a-half months on remand, he was released after just four months.

Mick Norcross’ tragic death

Mick Norcross took his own life amid financial concerns and deteriorating mood through coronavirus lockdowns, an inquest heard back in July.

The businessman, who rose to fame as the owner of the Sugar Hut nightclub, died at his home in the Essex village of Bulphan on January 21, aged 57.

Mr Norcross first appeared on Towie in 2011 during the show’s second series. His son Kirk, 33, who was part of the original cast, discovered his dad’s body.

Inspector Neil Armstrong, of Essex Police, said Mr Norcross had been involved in three property developments that were over schedule.

He had taken out a £3.6 million bank loan, a bridging loan secured against his main residence and there was “at least another million needed to finish at least one of the developments”, Mr Armstrong said.

There were “some significant financial difficulties”, Mr Armstrong added, and Mr Norcross may have faced “the loss of a lifetime’s work and potentially the family home owing to a bridging loan, and it appeared that was weighing heavily on him”.

ITV and Lime Pictures have been approached for a comment.

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