Controversial Married at First Sight Australia groom Sam Ball faced harsh accusations that he lied about ditching his new bride Elizabeth just hours after their wedding in order to attend the funeral of his ex-girlfriend's mother in New Zealand.
However, Woman's Day Australia has revealed that Sam was indeed telling the truth.
After allegations circulated that the Sydney-based foreman, 26, had fabricated the excuse in order to escape spending one-on-one time with Elizabeth on their honeymoon, his ex-girlfriend reached out to the magazine to clear his name.
"When I told Sam that mum had passed away of course his natural reaction was to attend the funeral out of respect for my late mother, myself and my family, we have a lot of history together," the ex, who spoke out on the condition of remaining anonymous, says.
"He immediately came straight over to New Zealand, arriving on September 22, and we attended the funeral on the 24th. He left to go back to Australia on the 29th."
She went on, "It's quite appalling I even have to address the fact that it actually happened and that he did not make it up - you would have to be sick in the head to make something like that up."
Sam's ex also provided Woman's Day with a copy of his flight itinerary that he sent her, her mother's order of service card from the funeral and the text messages she sent Sam at the time of her mother's death, all which mostly back-up Sam's version of events.
However, the evidence presented does seem to indicate two inconsistencies in the story played out on screen.
Text messages obtained by Woman's Day show Sam found out about the death on the night of his wedding, not the morning after.
And while Sam was in New Zealand for the funeral, his flight itinerary shows he wasn't there for the entire duration of the two week honeymoon - he was only there for seven days.
A Woman's Day source claims Sam's unexplained absence for the rest of the honeymoon may have been a deliberate move by the producers to create more drama on the show.
"It wouldn't surprise me if it was all planned and Sam was kept away from the other contestants until he made his dramatic entrance halfway through the first dinner party.
"He could have been prompted to say the controversial line, "Honey, I'm home," in order to create even more drama. It sounded quite unnatural and his late entry certainly created some tension!"
It's not the first time producers have been accused of ramping up the drama.
Last year's participant Nasser Sultan penned an open letter to the new brides and grooms, warning them to be wary of being manipulated.
"They're clever," he said of the show's producers. "You're probably in the midst of being manipulated right now and have no idea. All I can say is: just go along with it."
Former grooms Jono Pitman and John Robertson have also spoken out about what goes on behind the scenes.
According to Jono, the producers make participants repeat their lines until they're happy with how it sounds.
"They're always fishing for one-liners," he explains. "My famous line was, 'She wasn't what I ordered' when my partner, Clare, was walking down the aisle. "They got me to say it a thousand different times."
Speaking about the Dean and Davina cheating scandal of last season, Jono says "I felt bad for them.
"They would've been encouraged by producers and producers would've helped set it up."
With 29-year-old Matthew losing his virginity on his honeymoon, an explosive commitment ceremony which led to a petition to have expert Mel Schilling sacked and the beginnings of 'affair' between Sam and Ines having played out on screen to date, there's no shortage of drama already this season and we're only in week three.
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