Inside Joey Essex’s life from tragic death of mum to becoming millionaire

Joey Essex is the eighth famous face to join the Celebs Go Dating agency this season, returning for some expert guidance in the romance department.

The reality star, 30, has darkened their door before, famously hooking up with fellow celeb Stephanie Pratt during the seventh season of the show.

This time, Joey is determined to follow Anna Williamson and Paul Carrick Brunson's advice, hoping to find the girl of his dreams with their matchmaking know-how.

To mark his arrival in the agency, Daily Star has taken a look back at his life and career, tracing his rise to fame as one of Britain's favourite reality stars.

Featuring everything from the heartbreaking loss of his mum, to his relationships over the years, here's everything you need to know about the man who put "reem" in the dictionary.

Childhood tragedy

When Joey was just 10 years old, and his older sister Frankie was 13, his mum, Tina, took her own life.

An ambassador for Child Bereavement UK, he has addressed her death several times in the past, speaking out to help others who may be struggling with their mental health.

In his 2014 autobiography, Being Reem, Joey discussed the impact his mum's death has had on his life, writing: "Some people reckoned I stopped learning because of what happened to my mum.

"Almost like I froze in time. I don't know about that but I remember it hitting me really hard."

During his time on Celebrity SAS, Joey confessed his mother's passing helped him to grow a thicker skin, as he was forced to deal with tragedy at such a young age.

Growing emotional on the show, he said: "It hardened me up a little bit.

"I can't explain it. It's made me tougher inside. I only sort of started being able to talk about it openly, saying the word mum three or four years ago.

"I know my mum loved me. But it has given me trust issues. One day she was there one day she was gone."

TOWIE glitz

When TOWIE was at its peak, making stars of the likes of Mark Wright and Lauren Goodger, Joey joined the cast of the ITVBe reality show.

Appearing as the cousin of series regular Chloe Sims, he was an instant hit with viewers, who loved his punchy one-liners and boyish charm.

Though he was just a supporting cast member at first, he was later promoted to one of the show's main celebs in season three.

One of his highlights on the show – aside from his glitzy proposal – was his recording of the single Reem, inspired by his favourite word.

Sadly, in 2013, Joey announced he was quitting TOWIE, with his rep stating at the time: "Joey loves TOWIE and the opportunities the show has given him – he hopes to return at some stage in the near future."

That return came in 2020, when the original cast reunited for a glittering reunion, with everyone from Amy Childs to Bobby Norris making a comeback.

Breakout TV fame

After his TOWIE exit, Joey went on to enjoy the dizzying heights of Brit reality TV fame, putting his name to some of the UK's most illustrious shows.

His 2014 documentary series, Educating Joey Essex, saw him travel the world, learning about new cultures and ways of thinking.

The following year, he reigned victorious on the riskiest show in television – The Jump – which saw celebs careen off a terrifyingly high jump on skis.

Appearing alongside Emmerdale’s Lucy Pargeter and Westlife singer Kian Egan in the jungle, Joey was a hit with viewers and finished in fourth place on I'm A Celeb.

He braved the military hardship of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins last year, eventually quitting the show after a harrowing interrogation became too much.

And, he found love on MTV's Celebrity Ex on the Beach, falling for model Lorena Medina – only for the pair to split months later.

Romantic liaisons

Joey's love life has regularly made the small screen, hunting for the woman of his dreams on shows like Celebrity Ex on the Beach and Celebs Go Dating.

His first major romance was with fellow TOWIE star Sam Faiers, enjoying an on-off relationship on the show.

In March of 2013, Joey got bended knee during a jaunt abroad with Sam, asking her for her hand in marriage before the cameras.

Sam said yes, but they later split up after several arguments, bringing their tempestuous engagement to an end.

Later, while filming Celebs Go Dating, Joey enjoyed a fling with co-star Stephanie Pratt, with the pair snogging in a pool and breaking the show's rules.

However, he ended their relationship after three months, with Stephanie later telling OK! magazine: "No, he hates me! I have no idea why he dislikes me so much."

Then, Joey found love with model Lorena Medina on Ex On The Beach, with the pair hitting the red carpet together and putting on loved-up displays on the beach.

Last year, Joey dated Brazilian model Brenda Santos, though the pair called it a day after five months.

However, during their brief relationship, they got to know each other quite well – getting busy beneath the sheets seven days a week.

Brenda told The Sun last month: "We would have sex every day. Sometimes we would do it many times a day, depending on the mood.

"He was giving and generous in bed. Joey said he loved my body, especially my ‘bum-bum' as you say in Brazil.

"It was intense and memorable. He's a very passionate person, like myself."

Millionaire credentials

Aside from his romances and onscreen antics, Joey has proven to have a knack for business, starting up a number of entrepreneurial endeavours over the years.

In 2013 he launched his hair products range D'Reem Hair, and later that year he opened his own clothing shop, Fusey, in Essex.

The store shut three years later, but the reality star subsequently designed his own clothing line, which was branded as DAFDEA.

On top of that, he has fronted a number of advertising campaigns, promoting everything from Batchelor's Cup-a-Soup to Jaffa Cake Nibbles.

These business dealings add up and combined with Joey's TV earnings, it makes quite a pretty penny.

His net worth is estimated to be worth a whopping £6million, making him one of TOWIE's most successful exports.

Celebs Go Dating: The Mansion continues on Monday at 9pm on E4.

For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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