January 12, 2016 3:12 pm
Updated: January 12, 2016 6:58 pm

‘Celebrity Big Brother’ under fire after showing David Bowie’s ex-wife reacting to his death


British TV’s Channel 5 has come under fire after Angie Bowie, David Bowie’s ex-wife, was shown on Celebrity Big Brother in tears after being told of the iconic singer’s death.

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Media regulator Ofcom in the U.K. said on Monday that it had received 13 complaints, currently under assessment. If deemed a violation, there will be an investigation into the show’s conduct.

READ MORE: Remembering David Bowie: a timeline of his music, love and life

On Celebrity Big Brother, as with all Big Brother iterations, the houseguests aren’t able to access the outside world, including newspapers, TV, or the internet, so Angie Bowie wouldn’t have known about her ex-husband’s death from cancer if the producers had decided not to tell her.

The show producers said they told the 66-year-old off-camera, and she decided to regain her composure in the diary room, which is where the houseguests give their own solo confessions and thoughts to the camera. She was comforted (as seen in the picture, above) by fellow houseguests David Gest and John Partridge.

READ MORE: David Bowie’s last album, Blackstar, was a goodbye to fans

According to a Channel 5 representative, Angie Bowie chose to stay on the show after hearing that her ex had succumbed to cancer at age 69.

A spokesperson for Channel 5 said: “Angie Bowie was told off-camera about the tragic death of David Bowie by her agent. She then took the decision to remain in the house of her own accord. Last night’s preview of the upcoming program included footage of Angie in the diary room after she had heard the news about her ex-husband.”

“I haven’t seen him in so many years, I can’t make a big drama out of it,” she said. “I just feel like an era has ended with his passing. I’m so very sad.”

WATCH: Fans react to death of legendary musician David Bowie

“The stardust is gone,” she added. “If I don’t leave, I look callous. If I stay, I look callous. I’d prefer to be here but I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t.”

Angie Bowie met David Bowie when she was 19, and married him a year later in 1970. They had one son together, Zowie, who is also known as Duncan Jones.

The former model has spoken about her relationship with the late singer with her fellow Celebrity Big Brother houseguests, saying she hadn’t seen him in 40 years.

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