Tomic’s surprising post-jungle admission
TROUBLED tennis star Bernard Tomic has revealed his new post-jungle reality will be back on the training court after admitting his South African adventure did not come at the right time.
Speaking exclusively to the Daily Telegraph's Jonathon Moran following his dramatic exit from the show after just three nights, Tomic said he was focused on getting "back to where I belong."
"I just don't think that it was the right time for me here," he said. "If it was the right choice and I had nothing to regret and think back to at what I am leaving, I would have stayed, I am 100 per cent certain. It is what it is and I hope one day I can come back to this in maybe a decade and complete it," he said.
However he also admitted that despite committing to the sport again he will "never love the game" like he did as a young teen.
"It is a business, I like it. The last year I have been so confused and I haven't played that much tennis and I have enjoyed my life, which I am human, I've deserved, I have worked for the last 16/18 years to be where I am and obviously needed a break the last sort of year.
The abrupt departure of Tomic from I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here left some viewers questioning Ten's handling of the upset.
In Tuesday night's episode, Tomic was seen telling campmates and producers that he felt "depressed," and "worse than he's ever felt in his life."
"I need some peace. This is going to knock me around for a week, two weeks. I'm just not coping. It's too risky. I don't know if I can do it. I'd like to speak to someone," he said before leaving the show.
Co-host Julia Morris said she was "furious" with his decision during an appearance on The Project, labelling him "just a quitter."
And many viewers fumed at a tweet the official Network Ten account issued, and then deleted, minutes after Tomic's departure was aired:
"Disgraceful tweet. I'm no fan of his, but you seem to have either made a real error putting this kid on ... or, you did it on purpose knowing the train wreck that could ensue. Either way, shame on you," wrote one viewer.
"This tweet is bloody disgraceful. Clearly the time for him to have some arms wrapped around him and given help not publicly mocked by the channel that put him there," wrote another.
"Well done picking on a kid with mental issues," tweeted another viewer.
"That's really mean & unprofessional. Where's your duty of care? If you were really listening, you would of heard he was crying out for help but as usual you're only interested in the ratings & $$$! Very disappointing channel 10," wrote another.
"Terribly irresponsible behaviour by @ImACelebrityAU and @channelten. Bernard Tomic clearly not in a fit state to be on the show- where was the due diligence?" posted another viewer.
However, other viewers were less sympathetic to Tomic's struggle, slamming the controversial tennis player for what they saw as an abrupt dummy spit.
After the tweet was deleted, Ten changed tack with a different, altogether more sympathetic tweet quoting the show's co-host Dr. Chris Brown:
Speaking to Tomic in a live exit interview at the end of the episode, host Julia Morris said Australia was divided about his decision to quit - and so were she and her co-host.
While Brown said he respected Tomic's decision to put his mental wellbeing first, Morris hit him with altogether curlier questions.
"Why did you even bother to go in?" she asked him, and later: "What does this mean for your charity?"
Had Tomic won the show, his chosen charity, would have received $100,000 in prize money.
Responding to Morris' grilling, Tomic spoke repetitively about realising very quickly that appearing on the show had been a wrong move, and expressing his desire to return to tennis training.
"I thought by coming here it would make me a super happy person ... I thought it would change me as soon as I got in," he said.
If you or someone you know is in need of crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp