The Apprentice star Ruth Badger has recalled how she was outed as gay after appearing on the BBC One show.
The business mogul was runner-up on the Alan Sugar-fronted show in 2006.
Speaking to The Guardian, Badger was positive about her time on the show. But discussing the aftermath, Badger - then 27 - spoke of her "bad" experience.
"I had a bad experience with the press after," she told the publication. "The Sun outed me as gay. I had journalists knocking on my nan’s door. I was already out to my family and friends – I had a long-term partner – but the level of intrusion was awful.
"It impacted my family massively. I’d never put my sexuality out there and they were trawling through my past, looking for salacious stories. They didn’t find anything, though. The News of the World hacked my phone. I settled with them out of court and donated the money to charity."
Badger continued: "I went into The Apprentice all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. And within three weeks of the show going out, I was being outed in a national newspaper. What was that about? Luckily I rode it out. I have an amazing family, which really helped."
The Apprentice launched in the UK in 2005. This year's series was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.