The TOWIE star was seen visiting the man

Lauren Goodger has rubbished claims she has struck up a romance with a man serving seventeen and a half years in prison for a number of offences.

She clarified that they are just friends.

The TOWIE star was spotted by The Sunday People visiting Joey Morrison in HMP Stanford Hill — a low security prison with relaxed visitation rules.

A source told the paper: ‘I’ve seen Lauren there visiting Joey a couple of times and they look incredibly close.

‘Joey’s been a bad lad over the years, but he’s got links to Essex so she’s probably known him some time.’

They added: ‘They look every bit like a couple and that’s what everyone in the prison thinks is going on.’

I don't normally do this but I feel I have to explain this situation that is in the press at the minute… This boy joey is my friend and I have known him for many years and you will read he was convicted of a string of violent burglaries and this is not the case at all and the articles that have been put out in the past few days have been untrue and false… These news groups were contacted and have now reported the correct information on my friend so as I always say do not always believe what you read and see in the press… I'm getting a lot of messages saying I'm friends with a violent burglar and this is not correct and no he is not an angel but he didn't attack innocent families as it was reported so I'd appreciate it if he is left out if the media. For what he has done he has served he's punishment and all people change and deserve the truth spoken of them… So if you have read the articles online, re read them if you want to know the truth but otherwise leave this at he's my friend and I have nothing else to say… Thank you😘

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But Lauren wants to clarify that she is not dating this man — she is only his friend.

The 30-year-old wrote on Instagram: ‘This boy Joey Morrison is my friend and I have known him for many years and you will read he was convicted of a string of violent burglaries and this is not the case at all…

‘I’m getting a lot of messages saying I’m friends with a violent burglar and this is not correct and no he is not an angel but he didn’t attack innocent families…

‘For what he has done he has served he’s punishment and all people change and deserve the truth spoken of them…’

Lauren Goodger and Jake McLean

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Joey is serving the last 24 months of his sentence in the prison after he was put behind bars in December, 2009.

He was charged and found guilty of kidnap, blackmail, aggravated burglary and actual bodily harm while on trial in London.

This isn’t the only bad boy Lauren Goodger’s had dealing’s with though. Her on-again-off-again ex boyfriend Jake McLean also had brushes with the law.