Joey Essex deeply affected by mother's suicide
Joey Essex thinks his mother taking her own life when he was 10 might have stunted him intellectually
Joey Essex says his mother's suicide affected his learning.
The former 'The Only Way Is Essex' favourite believes the trauma of his mother Tina hanging herself when he was just 10 years old could be responsible for his lack of general knowledge.
He explains in his new book, 'Being Reem': "Some people reckoned I stopped learning because of what happened to my mum. Almost like I froze in time. I don't know about that but I remember it hitting me really hard."
Joey - who can't tell the time, despite owning a £70,000 Rolex watch - and his older sister Frankie Essex didn't know their mother had taken her own life until a schoolchild blurted it out in the playground two years after the event.
In an extract published in The Sun newspaper, he said: "We didn't know mum had committed suicide for about two years. Dad didn't tell us how it happened to start with, he just said she fell over in an accident.
"I guess he was trying to protect us and I don't think he wanted to deal with it himself. I was convinced she was staying in a hotel and was coming back. As I started getting older I began to get p***ed off.
"I'd constantly say to Dad, 'Can you please find out where mum's gone or how she's died?' "
Despite growing up without a mum, Joey resents people describing suicide as the coward's way out and understands why she did it.
He said: "Deep down, she was ill and unhappy. I was always confused about what was wrong with my mum. She was often in hospital; and I never understood why.
"Someone told me committing suicide is a selfish thing to do because you're hurting other people. But how can you say that? You don't know what the person is going through. To commit suicide you've got to be in another level of pain."