Now's Amy Brookbanks on what Dan Osborne was REALLY like when she interviewed him for our exclusive

Dan Osborne. A man with a secret dark side or a man driven crazy by the fear he was going to lose his son?

That’s the question I asked this week in Now’s exclusive interview with Dan, 23, when he agreed to finally break his silence to me about THOSE shock threats to his ex.

It has been three months since secretly-recorded tapes of him threatening to stab his ex girlfriend (and the mother of his one-year-old son) Megan Tomlin were leaked and I wanted to meet him face-to-face to find out exactly what had happened.
The incident seemed so out of character for the man I have known well for two years; I needed to get an insight into Dan’s state of mind at that time if I was going to be able to fully understand his explanation for the rage and fury caught on the tape. Over two hours, Dan opened up to me in his only interview. At times, he was too choked with emotion to talk, having to take moments to compose himself before he could carry on. He spoke honestly and openly about his shame at how he behaved on the tapes and why he was ‘pushed to the limit.’

Megan has already told her side of the story in an interview and, whatever you think of Dan, it’s only fair that we hear his side too.

‘Everyone thinks I’m this crazy bastard but I’m not…’ Dan told me as he wiped away the tears from his eyes. ‘All I ever wanted was to see my son.’

His words to me in the interview we completely at odds with the threats on the tape. They were disgusting. Truly the worst things I’d ever heard spoken by a person. I was absolutely appalled by the hateful things said in temper by a man – let alone a man whom I considered myself to know very well. It made me question whether I knew him at all. Which is why I was so determined to get to the bottom of what had happened. Was he a monster behind closed doors, as he was being made out? Or was something else going on?

Hand on heart, I have never heard Dan swear, speak a bad word about anyone or even seen him angry. I’ve never even seen Dan drink, to be honest, and I’ve spent time with him in Marbella, Ibiza and at various other celebrity parties, so I knew this wasn’t the result of a boozy bust-up.

Dan’s genuinely one of the most polite celebrities I’ve ever met. A really nice guy. Always smiling, always full of life, always the first to give you a big hug and ask you how you are.

When Now organises charity events and parties, Dan always wants to get involved and give up his time to help out in whatever way he can – last year he even stripped off and did the first naked celebrity Ice Bucket Challenge to help us raise money for our charity.

He is also one of the most hands-on dads I’ve met. On Now’s Christmas photoshoot in December with Dan and Teddy, Dan barely put his son down for three hours. He was constantly kissing and cuddling and singing to him and little Teddy is absolutely besotted with his daddy.

So why did he do it? And what was going on in his life to drive him to say those things?

‘I’m the least thuggish person… You’ve spent a lot of time with me, Amy. You know I’m not. You know I love my son to bits, I just wanted to be with him every single day and when I was told things that suggested another man would bring him up and call him “dad” I believed them… It was the worst time of my life, I was in a very dark place.’

It’s important to note that for legal reasons Dan can’t explain everything…
‘If I could people would fully understand but I can’t,’ he told me. Dan is devastated any of this has become public and has struggled to fathom how the mother of his child could secretly tape him in the first place, potentially costing him his career and ability to provide a good future for their son, Teddy.

‘I asked her “what have you achieved?” But there’s no answer,’ he said.

Today, Dan is a free man. When police questioned him after the tapes were leaked, no further action was taken. The police believe he isn’t a dangerous person, the threats Dan made were in temper and everyone – the police included – knew he was not going to carry out the things he had threatened. But it’s the thought of being branded a ‘thug’ for the rest of his life which hurts him the most.

In my 10 years as a journalist on some of the UK’s biggest publications, I’ve interviewed cheats, liars and criminals but after talking to Dan extensively I do believe he is fully remorseful and every day completely regrets the terrible things he said to Megan. I’d be very surprised if he ever behaves like that again, especially now because he is happy – he has a formal access arrangement with Teddy, meaning he can see Teddy regularly each week. He’s settled down and living with his girlfriend Jacqueline Jossa, who he says has been his rock and supported him through it all, and he’s now a dad again, to their newborn baby girl Ella.

So, now he’s left TOWIE, what now for Dan?

‘I just want us to all get on with our lives now,’ he sighs. ‘The tapes are almost a year old, some people think this only happened recently but it didn’t and we’ve dealt with this privately. Megan is happy and has a new boyfriend and I’m with Jacqueline, it’s all in the past for us.’

Regrettably, Dan might always be a ‘thug’ to some people and he knows that after the things he’s said on the tapes he’s not going to change everyone’s opinion of him. But he’s relieved he did this interview to explain to you why he reacted the way he did and to tell his side of the story.

Read Dan Osborne in this week’s Now magazine by downloading the digital edition now!