It has been revealed that Married At First Sight producers knowingly paired a man who admitted to assault with a recent assault victim.
The Herald Sun reported the show’s most controversial star Jono Pitman admitted to assaulting a man during a punch-up in 2008 and was ordered to undertake an anger management course by Ringwood Magistrates Court.
The newspaper alleges the Nine Network that produced the reality relationship show, where couples are paired by personality, psychological and lifestyle experts, knew about the assault, and still paired Jono with Clare Verrall, who was left with a black eye, broken nose and broken toe after a man attacked her while she walking her dog last year.
Clare, who has been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder since the attack, said she was shocked to learn of her TV groom’s violent past.
“I was very disappointed that, knowing my history of PTSD after a violent attack and knowing I had joined the show earnestly trying to put myself out there to find love, the show and psychologists partnered me with someone who had known anger management issues and who has been arrested for violent behaviour,” she told the newspaper.
A Nine Network spokeswoman said both Jono and Clare were aware of each other’s histories and neither requested to pull out of the show.
“Jono does not have a history of violence, he has no criminal record,” the statement said. “He was involved in an incident eight years ago and attended an anger-management course, which was known.
“Clare and Jono discussed the incident on the honeymoon and at no stage did either request to withdraw.”
Clare and Jono’s short-lived “marriage” was tumultuous at best, and ended before the show finished filming. The pair called time on their relationship after a dramatic dinner party with the three other couples involved in the TV experiment.
But the drama between Jono and Claire began even before they met at the alter.
As Clare walked down the aisle, Jono was shown to be shocked.
"Ahh sh--!" He cried.
“She's basically the opposite of what I expected to walk down the aisle. She's not what I ordered,” the 28-year-old fumed, before adding his type is “small” and “brunette”.
Claire thanked her friends, family and dog Dutchy on social media after the drama unfolded onscreen.
“A HUGE thank you to all my wonderful friends, family & even the extraordinarily large number of amazing strangers who have offered me kind words of support this week. Watching last nights episode was certainly difficult & very confronting,” Clare posted after the episode aired.
“I’m looking forward to my contract being up in three months time so I can share all that went on, rather than the highly edited versions that are shown during the ‘experiment’! Luckily I had some of my closest friends & Dutchy there for support,” she wrote.