The I'm A Celebrity star lost his mum when he was 10

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Joey Essex found the death of his mother Tina extremely hard to deal with.

The TOWIE star opened up to Now in 2011 about the grief of losing her when he was just 10 years old.

Now Joey‘s grandma Linda Sims has spoken out about Tina‘s shocking suicide.

‘It was terrible. Joey told me that for five years he believed that she would come back. He just couldn’t accept she had gone,’ says Linda.

Joey firmly believes she is up there looking down on him, helping him and watching over him. And I believe it myself.’

Tina suffered from post-natal depression after Joey‘s birth and later developed candida, a yeast infection that causes pain and exhaustion.

Linda thinks her daughter took her own life because she ‘felt she would never be well again’ and wonders whether a bang on the head while pregnant with Joey led to her depression.

She knows that Tina would be very proud of Joey for going into the I’m A Celebrity jungle.

‘As children Joey and [his sister] Frankie were Tina‘s world, she absolutely doted on them. They wanted for nothing and were wrapped in love,’ Linda tells The Sun.

‘She was very protective of them and spoilt them rotten. They adored her. Every night she helped Joey with his homework and he was always snuggling up to her.’

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Anna Duff