Nikki Grahame cuddles Big Brother ex Pete Bennett in sweet snap just weeks before her death

Nikki Grahame cuddled up to her Big Brother ex Pete Bennett in an Instagram snap, after he visited her just weeks before her death from anorexia aged 38.

The star, who alongside Pete rose to fame on the seventh series of Big Brother in 2006, passed away in the early hours of Friday morning – just one month after her friends started a GoFundMe page for anorexia treatment. 

It comes after Nikki admitted months previously that she was struggling to ‘deal’ with another coronavirus lockdown in what was to be her final social media post. 

Still cuddling to this day': Nikki Grahame cuddled up to her Big Brother ex Pete Bennett in an Instagram snap, after he visited her just weeks before her death from anorexia aged 38

Still cuddling to this day': Nikki Grahame cuddled up to her Big Brother ex Pete Bennett in an Instagram snap, after he visited her just weeks before her death from anorexia aged 38

Still cuddling to this day’: Nikki Grahame cuddled up to her Big Brother ex Pete Bennett in an Instagram snap, after he visited her just weeks before her death from anorexia aged 38

In the weeks before her tragic death, Nikki’s former boyfriend Pete, 39, who she met in the Big Brotherhouse, visited the star amid her tough anorexia battle.

The pair, who’ve maintained a friendship since their split, were seen sweetly cuddling in the snap, with Nikki leaning towards Peter as they wrapped their arms around each other. 

Captioning the image shared on his Instgarm Page, Pete wrote: ‘Pete and Nikki March 2021 ♡ visiting my nikki and still cuddling to this day :).

‘Remember the fundraiser to help get her into a specialist anorexia clinic is in my bio! #savenikkig.’

Final post: It comes after Nikki admitted months previously that she was struggling to 'deal' with another coronavirus lockdown in what was to be her final social media post

Final post: It comes after Nikki admitted months previously that she was struggling to 'deal' with another coronavirus lockdown in what was to be her final social media post

Final post: It comes after Nikki admitted months previously that she was struggling to ‘deal’ with another coronavirus lockdown in what was to be her final social media post

The pair fell for each other in the house and enjoyed a brief romance after leaving the show. 

Big Brother winner Pete called off their romance after just a month, but the pair remained friends.

In June last year, Nikki opened up about her relationship with Pete, noting that she ‘loved him’ at the time but it was ‘never meant to be’. 

Rest in peace: Nikki, who rose to fame on the seventh series of Big Brother in 2006, passed away in the early hours of Friday morning - just one month after her friends started a GoFundMe page for anorexia treatment (pictured in 2006)

Rest in peace: Nikki, who rose to fame on the seventh series of Big Brother in 2006, passed away in the early hours of Friday morning - just one month after her friends started a GoFundMe page for anorexia treatment (pictured in 2006)

Rest in peace: Nikki, who rose to fame on the seventh series of Big Brother in 2006, passed away in the early hours of Friday morning – just one month after her friends started a GoFundMe page for anorexia treatment (pictured in 2006)

She said: ‘I hated it when I realised I was falling in love with Pete Bennett.

‘It was never meant to be. But I loved him at the time. Truly, it was special.’ 

Meanwhile, the TV personality complained about the UK entering another national lockdown back in November, as she told her followers that she ‘seriously can’t deal’ with it.

Alongside a video montage of some of her infamous tantrums in the Big Brother house, she wrote: ‘My reaction to the second national lockdown announcement.’

Still close: In the weeks before her tragic death, Nikki's former boyfriend Pete, 39, who she met in the Big Brother house, visited the star amid her tough anorexia battle

Still close: In the weeks before her tragic death, Nikki's former boyfriend Pete, 39, who she met in the Big Brother house, visited the star amid her tough anorexia battle

Still close: In the weeks before her tragic death, Nikki’s former boyfriend Pete, 39, who she met in the Big Brother house, visited the star amid her tough anorexia battle

Happy times: The pair fell for each other in the house and enjoyed a brief romance after leaving the show (pictured in the BB house in 2006)

Happy times: The pair fell for each other in the house and enjoyed a brief romance after leaving the show (pictured in the BB house in 2006)

Happy times: The pair fell for each other in the house and enjoyed a brief romance after leaving the show (pictured in the BB house in 2006)

Pals: Big Brother winner Pete called off their romance after just a month, but the pair remained friends (pictured in 2006)

Pals: Big Brother winner Pete called off their romance after just a month, but the pair remained friends (pictured in 2006)

Pals: Big Brother winner Pete called off their romance after just a month, but the pair remained friends (pictured in 2006)

In her caption, she added: ‘Not this again….seriously can’t deal #lockdown #f**kcovid19 #fml.’ 

Just two weeks ago Nikki’s mother claimed her daughter’s 30-year battle with anorexia nervosa worsened because of the coronavirus pandemic.

During an interview on This Morning, Susan Grahame, 66, revealed the Big Brother icon struggled with the isolation periods and gym closures brought by the nationwide lockdowns, admitting: ‘COVID-19 really put the cap on it.’

Struggles: Meanwhile, the TV personality complained about the UK entering another national lockdown back in November, as she told her followers that she 'seriously can't deal' with it

Struggles: Meanwhile, the TV personality complained about the UK entering another national lockdown back in November, as she told her followers that she 'seriously can't deal' with it

Struggles: Meanwhile, the TV personality complained about the UK entering another national lockdown back in November, as she told her followers that she ‘seriously can’t deal’ with it

Not happy: Alongside a video montage of some of her infamous tantrums in the Big Brother house, she wrote: 'My reaction to the second national lockdown announcement'

Not happy: Alongside a video montage of some of her infamous tantrums in the Big Brother house, she wrote: 'My reaction to the second national lockdown announcement'

Not happy: Alongside a video montage of some of her infamous tantrums in the Big Brother house, she wrote: ‘My reaction to the second national lockdown announcement’

On how her daughter took a turn for the worse amid the global crisis, Susan told hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby: ‘I think last year really put the cap on it with Covid. 

‘It sounds crazy but even stuff like gyms closing, which is quite important to Nikki as she needs to know she can exercise.    

‘The isolation, she couldn’t see anyone. I offered to stay with her but she said ”I need to stay in my own home”. It’s been really hard for her, really hard. 

‘She had terminal loneliness… she was cut off, spending too much time on her own, and nothing to think about other than food.’ 

Nikki’s sad death was confirmed online by her friend Leon Dee on Saturday. 

'It's been really, really hard': Nikki's mother recently claimed her daughter's 30-year battle with anorexia nervosa worsened because of the coronavirus pandemic (pictured together)

'It's been really, really hard': Nikki's mother recently claimed her daughter's 30-year battle with anorexia nervosa worsened because of the coronavirus pandemic (pictured together)

‘It’s been really, really hard’: Nikki’s mother recently claimed her daughter’s 30-year battle with anorexia nervosa worsened because of the coronavirus pandemic (pictured together) 

'Covid put the cap on it': During an interview on Tuesday's This Morning, Susan, 66, revealed the Big Brother icon, 38, struggled with isolation and gym closures brought by lockdown

'Covid put the cap on it': During an interview on Tuesday's This Morning, Susan, 66, revealed the Big Brother icon, 38, struggled with isolation and gym closures brought by lockdown

‘Covid put the cap on it’: During an interview on Tuesday’s This Morning, Susan, 66, revealed the Big Brother icon, 38, struggled with isolation and gym closures brought by lockdown

A statement on the GoFundMe page read: ‘It is with great sadness, we have to let you know that our dear friend Nikki passed away in the early hours of Friday 9th April.

‘It breaks our hearts to know that someone who is so precious was taken from us at such a young age.

‘Nikki not only touched the lives of millions of people, but also her friends and family who will miss her immensely.

‘We would like to request privacy at this difficult time, while Nikki’s friends and family process the sad news. Full details will be released as and when we know them.

‘All donations have been greatly appreciated and it was heartwarming for everyone including Nikki to see how much she was loved.’

'Not a day will go by without missing your smile': Nikki's friend Leon Dee paid tribute to his late friend and revealed money raised on GoFundMe will be given to a charity in Nikki's memory

'Not a day will go by without missing your smile': Nikki's friend Leon Dee paid tribute to his late friend and revealed money raised on GoFundMe will be given to a charity in Nikki's memory

‘Not a day will go by without missing your smile’: Nikki’s friend Leon Dee paid tribute to his late friend and revealed money raised on GoFundMe will be given to a charity in Nikki’s memory

Statement: Nikki's friend Leon Dee announced the sad news of her death on GoFundMe

Statement: Nikki's friend Leon Dee announced the sad news of her death on GoFundMe

Statement: Nikki’s friend Leon Dee announced the sad news of her death on GoFundMe

A statement from Nikki’s representative shared on Saturday said: ‘It is with immeasurable sadness that Nikki Grahame passed away in the early hours of Friday 9th April 2021. Please respect the privacy of Nikki’s friends and family at this tragic and difficult time.’

Nikki appeared on the seventh series of Big Brother UK in 2006, in which she finished in fifth place, and had developed an eating disorder as a child.

Just last month Nikki’s pals had launched a fundraised to try and gather funds for her to receive specialist treatment, managing to reach a total of £65,539.

The original page read: ‘She has been battling for most of her life and as you can see, Nikki is now in a very bad way so we need to do something quickly.

‘Over the past years Nikkis family and friends have tried so desperately to get Nikki all the help possible through the NHS but unfortunately the treatments have failed and we have exhausted every avenue possible, and now Nik is unfortunately in a very bad way, this is now our last hope.

Hope: Nikki's two friends set up a GoFundMe in March to raise money for her to have specialist treatment as they said it's the 'only option left' and Nikki was in a 'bad way' (pictured in 2017)

Hope: Nikki's two friends set up a GoFundMe in March to raise money for her to have specialist treatment as they said it's the 'only option left' and Nikki was in a 'bad way' (pictured in 2017)

Hope: Nikki’s two friends set up a GoFundMe in March to raise money for her to have specialist treatment as they said it’s the ‘only option left’ and Nikki was in a ‘bad way’ (pictured in 2017)

‘This is why we feel that getting her treatment in a specialist clinic is the only option left for her.

Nikki’s friend, TV presenter Rylan Clark-Neal, also appealed to his followers to help with donations.

Rylan, who won Celebrity Big Brother 11, said on Twitter: ‘This is v hard to read but sharing with permission. If some of the family could help in any way I know it would be greatly appreciated. Sending love x.’ (sic)

The TV star began suffering from anorexia aged eight, and has never had a period or produced eggs which would allow her to conceive due to her condition.

Plea: Rylan Clark-Neal, who won Celebrity Big Brother 11, said on Twitter at the time: 'This is v hard to read but sharing with permission. If some of the family could help in any way I know it would be greatly appreciated. Sending love x' (sic)

Plea: Rylan Clark-Neal, who won Celebrity Big Brother 11, said on Twitter at the time: 'This is v hard to read but sharing with permission. If some of the family could help in any way I know it would be greatly appreciated. Sending love x' (sic)

Plea: Rylan Clark-Neal, who won Celebrity Big Brother 11, said on Twitter at the time: ‘This is v hard to read but sharing with permission. If some of the family could help in any way I know it would be greatly appreciated. Sending love x’ (sic)

Wow: Her pals, Carly Cunningham and Leon Dee, exceeded their £50,000 goal on their GoFundMe page in March, which was set up to cover the costs of Nikki's therapy

Wow: Her pals, Carly Cunningham and Leon Dee, exceeded their £50,000 goal on their GoFundMe page in March, which was set up to cover the costs of Nikki's therapy

Wow: Her pals, Carly Cunningham and Leon Dee, exceeded their £50,000 goal on their GoFundMe page in March, which was set up to cover the costs of Nikki’s therapy

After first being admitted to an eating disorder unit at the age of eight, she was force-fed through a tube, and has caused long-term damage to her oesophagus from years of purging.

In the wake of the bad news, a host of names from the world of showbiz, including Big Brother hosts Davina McCall and Rylan Clark-Neal, took to social media to share their sadness of the death of Nikki. 

For help and support with eating disorders contact SEED on (01482) 718130 or visit www.seedeatingdisorders.org.uk 

History: The Big Brother icon, 38, appeared on the seventh series of the hit reality show in 2006 and she developed an eating disorder as a child (pictured with Davina McCall in 2010)

History: The Big Brother icon, 38, appeared on the seventh series of the hit reality show in 2006 and she developed an eating disorder as a child (pictured with Davina McCall in 2010)

History: The Big Brother icon, 38, appeared on the seventh series of the hit reality show in 2006 and she developed an eating disorder as a child (pictured with Davina McCall in 2010)

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