Former I’m A Celebrity. Get Me Out of Here UK winner Georgia Toffolo has sobbed on camera after she was finally freed from an immigration detention centre in the Maldives.
Toffolo, best known for appearing in UK reality show Made In Chelsea, had arrived in the country for a holiday with her boyfriend — but later told how she feared spending Christmas locked up before British Foreign Office officials finally intervened.
Speaking to The Sun, Toffolo, said she was left in an impossible position when they found her passport was missing pages.
“It was terrifying,” the 25-year-old said.
“I was on my own, they took me to one side and said they wouldn’t let me in because a page from my passport was ripped.
“The next thing I knew I was taken away from the airport to a stack of three shipping containers where they detain people — and told me I would be there for four days.
“It was so frightening. They made me book the next return flight which cost me a fortune, and watched as I did it, but then said that they wouldn’t even let me go and get on it until I got replacement documents.
“I begged them to contact the embassy but they just said they were sorry but it is closed on a Saturday so I would have to spend perhaps a couple of nights there — and that they would give me a single room.
“But it was very intimidating, male-dominated and scary. I had no idea what to do. I still feel sick at the thought of it all.”
Toffolo’s case garnered media attention after she posted videos to her Instagram story, sobbing and asking for help.
She was held for eight hours in a steel shipping container after staff noticed a page in her passport was missing and declared the document “invalid”.
In an Instagram post earlier today, Toffolo thanked everyone that brought attention to her case.
“I am typing this having just been released from immigration detention! I can’t quite believe it. I was genuinely trying to come to terms with spending the next … however long … in an immigration detention centre,” she wrote.
“Thank you so much to everyone who helped me. If I hadn’t posted online I would 100 per cent still be stuck without my passport!
“This scares me because it is such a privilege to have a following on social media – people can hear me. What if I didn’t have a social media following? I can’t bear to think of another girl in the situation I found myself in where no one can hear you.
“Extremely grateful that the British government worked with Maldivian representatives. Pushed by the UK press too (so epic thank you!) Also thank you to Maldivian immigration for letting me in to your beautiful country!”
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished here with permission.