The ‘texting scandal’ between Davina Rankin and Dean Wells during the last season of Married at First Sight set the tone for a particularly salacious season of reality television.
But according to Tracey Jewel, from the moment the ‘affair’ (who even knows what to call it, really) was exposed, the experiment took a turn.
Once Dean came clean about texting Davina, Tracey decided she and Dean should be separated from the rest of the group – including Davina, who was still in the experiment after her partner Ryan was duped and chose to stay.
“We were separated from the group a lot of the time off camera so we didn’t have much of a chance to socialise with everyone like a lot of the couples did,” Tracey told Mamamia. “That was quite bonding for Dean and I as we only had each other.”
The 35-year-old mother-of-one wanted to live separately from the other cast members in the hopes of "getting things back on track".
"I thought it was better we were separated... after the Davina drama," she said.
It was only later, when watching the footage with the rest of the group, that Tracey saw "what really happened wasn't Dean's version," a realisation she found "heartbreaking".
So did Tracey think the way Davina was portrayed was fair?
"Yes... they were her words and her actions," she said. "Producers can't put words in our mouths can they!"
Despite this, she's reached out to Davina since the show aired because "no one deserves to be bullied," and says Davina is doing okay.
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Tracey added that while at the time, she thought her relationship with Dean would've lasted had it not been for his scandal with Davina, she sees now "we weren't right for each other".
"We are in different stages of life," she said.
Finally, in terms of the controversial text messages brought up during the final episode of Married at First Sight, Tracey says "Dean and I send messages as a joke back and forth".
"I was trying to remain friendly and amicable between filming ending and the final reunion which were six weeks apart. That was the extent of the messages - just friendly banter. Once Dean was told by me I was seeing Sean some of his messages crossed a line of respect given I was now with someone else."