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Last Updated: Monday, 5 February 2007, 08:43 GMT
Shilpa was bullied, says Jackson
Jermaine Jackson in Burgess Hill
Jermaine Jackson launched the anti-bullying campaign in Sussex
Celebrity Big Brother's Jermaine Jackson has said he believes the show's winner Shilpa Shetty was a victim of bullying inside the house.

But he denied calling fellow housemate Jade Goody "white trash", saying the comment was made by former A-team actor Dirk Benedict and he just passed it on.

Mr Jackson was speaking at the launch of an anti-bullying campaign in Burgess Hill, West Sussex on Sunday.

The initiative is the brainchild of Devon martial arts expert Matt Fiddes.

Mr Fiddes, himself a target of bullying at school, set up the NOBULL programme to take the anti-bullying message into schools and martial arts academies.

I did not call Jade Goody white trash. The white trash statement came from Dirk Benedict
Jermaine Jackson

Its first event was at the Triangle leisure centre in Burgess Hill, where martial arts trainees and pupils from Birchwood Grove School and St Lawrence School in Hurstpierpoint got the chance to meet Mr Jackson.

Mr Fiddes, from Barnstaple, has known the Jackson family for about 10 years, having been Michael Jackson's bodyguard.

"People think we started this campaign because of Big Brother but that was a total coincidence," he said.

"The truth is that I was in talks with Jermaine's wife while he was in the house - we were going to do this anyway."

Mr Jackson said he wanted to settle the controversy surrounding the white trash comment.

"I did not call Jade Goody white trash. The white trash statement came from Dirk Benedict.

"As I was sitting out in the garden with Dirk, he said it and I went back to Shilpa to let her know what was being said about them.

'Not racially motivated'

He also said he did not believe the actions of Goody, former S Club 7 singer Jo O'Meara and model Danielle Lloyd towards Shilpa were racially motivated.

"If Jade was racist, or Jo or Danielle...they would never have ate at the same table as me or Shilpa.

"They would never have sat on the same toilet seat as me or Shilpa or slept in the same room.

"That's real racism. This was bullying and that's one of the reasons why we are here."

He said the campaign aimed to give children the skills not to get involved with bullying.

"It is best to turn and go the other way, because bullying is not a good thing," he said.




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