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Married at First Sight

MAFS bride Aimee Collins speaks out after her hubby Chris was kicked off the show

''The entire experience has been very, very traumatic for me,'' Aimee, 34, says. ''I'm really lost for words.''

When Chris Mansfield was axed from Married at First Sight NZ last week, no-one was more shocked than his bride, Aimee Collins.
The platinum blonde who signed up for the show to find love and adventure was 'wed' to Chris, but both were cut from the Three show when it was revealed the groom has an outstanding arrest warrant for a domestic violence charge in the United States.
"The entire experience has been very, very traumatic for me," Aimee, 34, says. "I'm really lost for words."
Drama is a given on the reality show that sees six couples walking down the aisle to marry complete strangers.
Chris and Aimee's relationship barely had the chance to get off the ground.
In both season one and two there were alliances formed, eye-rolls galore and full-blown shouting matches. But this year things took a sinister turn when a former partner of Chris reached out to media to express her concern at his presence on the series. And then, upon further investigation, the outstanding warrant was discovered.
It is understood that the Christchurch-raised 39-year-old moved to the US on a temporary visa in 2004, and stayed on for another seven years.
In 2008, Chris met Candace Casady, 32, and the pair quickly became an item. But in May the following year, he was arrested in Seattle on a criminal complaint of domestic violence – and Candace was the complainant. A couple of weeks later, the Kiwi pleaded not guilty to assault and was released on $1500 bail, with Candace taking out a non-contact order against him.
"I was in the cycle of abuse completely," she claims, adding that he "almost killed me a couple of times [through] strangling".
Candace later allowed telephone contact with Chris because she was pregnant to him at the time, and admits that she was attached to the baby and hopeful things could change between them.

Later that same month, Chris was booked in the neighbouring city of Renton for driving with a suspended license and operating a vehicle without insurance, which is an offence in America.
The following month, on June 15, Chris was scheduled to appear in court to face the domestic violence charge, but he didn't show up as he'd been deported. It led to a warrant for his arrest, which is
still outstanding.
Ten years later, Chris, now based in Auckland, applied for and was accepted to take part in season three of Married at First Sight. He described himself as a "modern day Peter Pan," who is "loyal, sincere and heartfelt", adding that people would be surprised by his sensitivity.
When asked what he was looking for in a partner he said, "Someone who can be my best friend and that I can be my complete self with. Someone who is always up for a laugh and doesn't take life
too seriously."
Paired with Aimee – who was on the lookout for "someone loyal, ambitious, fun and a good communicator" and "interested in health and leaving a positive impact on the world" – the duo began the social experiment.
On August 29, the groom's outstanding American charge was made public, with Candace revealing days later the severity of the alleged abuse, and more women came out speaking against him.
Two days later MediaWorks, who produce the Three show, announced that the controversial contestant would be edited out.
"His storyline will no longer be part of the Married at First Sight 2019 series," they wrote, confirming that his on-screen 'wife' would also be cut.
Adds Aimee, who is working through her difficult situation with her legal team and MediaWorks, "We had both exited the show two weeks ago, before these allegations surfaced. I empathise with anyone who has experienced any kind of domestic abuse. Domestic violence is serious and I absolutely stand against it."
The beauty also spoke at length to Candace who, after counselling, is now happily married with two children. She didn't continue her pregnancy to Chris.
In yet a further twist, MediaWorks has since admitted that the groom had been asked to leave the show before filming had wrapped. A source close to the production alleges Chris had been "aggressive and volatile" at points during filming, with another saying that "he would be very up one moment and then dark and quiet the next."
Things are believed to have come to a head on the evening of August 10 and Chris was kicked off the reality show the next day.
He has also now resigned from his job as an ambassador for DB Breweries Heineken brand, and so far he hasn't responded to attempts by media to contact him.

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