Married at First Sight

MAFS star Maddie’s tears: ‘It’s affected my mental health’

The bride hits out at trolls – and her groom!
MAFS stars Maddie and Nate sharing a drink

It was a MAFS NZ match no one was expecting, least of all the bride and groom! When crystal worshipper Madeleine Gilbert and fitness freak Nate Drury met for the first time at their wedding, they were just as baffled as anyone.

To their credit, both Maddie, 37, and Nate, 30, tried their darndest to find a connection despite their age gap, but it was clear to them and everyone else it just wasn’t going to work.

“Looking back, it wasn’t my fault and it wasn’t Nate’s either,” says Maddie. “We’re just two people who professionals put in a f**king pressure cooker.”

Since MAFS aired, the Tauranga reiki healer has dealt with a barrage of negative feedback from the public, mainly over Nate’s comments about her asking him to only talk about their feelings while on camera.

“The amount of trolling that came from that really took a toll on my mental health,” she says with tears in her eyes. “I expected trolls, but that was next level.”

Maddie says she’s sad to see Nate continue to talk about it in interviews. She insists the quote was taken completely out of context.

“It makes me come across as really fake and phony. This specific moment came after a long day of filming and talking about feelings,” she explains.

“I simply said, ‘I’m exhausted. I’m keen to have deep chats under the stars, but sometimes it’s nice to have some stillness and just reflect. Can we please do it tomorrow? We’ll probably have to repeat it on camera anyway.’ He was super-understanding at the time. I didn’t think it was an issue.”

Producers never gave Maddie an opportunity to address the problem and it seemed to snowball. When she saw the show, she realised Wellington aviation officer Nate acted differently on and off camera.

“After our wedding, he made the comment that I was everything he’d ever asked for. I didn’t hear that behind the scenes. Then he made a comment that he felt rejected by me, which was hurtful to hear. I was like, ‘How do you feel rejected by me when you told me I wasn’t your type?’

“I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus, but I’ve taken a lot of hate from a false narrative.”

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