The text Tomic never sent
BERNARD Tomic had cold feet and almost bailed on I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! before flying to South Africa.
The executive producer of the Channel 10 show, Alex Mavroidakis, revealed on Nova this morning that Tomic was close to quitting before he'd even begun.
"He told me, and I believe him, that he composed a text message three days before he got on the plane that he'd changed his mind and didn't want to do it," Mr Mavroidakis told Fitzy and Wippa. "He's obviously just not in the right headspace at all."
Tomic dramatically walked out on the reality show after just three nights but was ready to quit after the "Bridge Too Far" challenge.
"After the highwire trial he asked me the first time," Mr Mavroidakis said.
"I had to beg him to stay for the night ... I went down to see him because I could tell he was not in a good way and he wanted to leave there and then.
"I basically said, 'listen, I really need you to go back in. You're going to be fine.' He sat with a psychologist and he agreed to go back in for the night."
The executive producer praised Jackie Gilles and Josh Gibson who offered Tomic support when he returned to camp and Mr Mavroidakis was under the impression that the tennis star was "over the hump".
"And then right in the middle of that live show he's back in the Tok Tokkie saying, 'that's it, I'm going home'," the executive producer told Fitzy and Wippa.
"I used all my ammunition just to get him to stay for that one extra night."
Tomic's exit from the jungle threw the show into disarray and Mr Mavroidakis admitted that he was pretty annoyed with the tennis brat.
"Half of me is angry with him because he's messed up a whole lot of plans that we had in place," he said.
"But half of me wishes him all the best. He's obviously confused as to where he is in life. He's obviously a freakish talent and he just wants to get back and play tennis."
Fitzy and Wippa asked the EP if Tomic would still get paid for his appearance on the show but he refused to comment.
But according to season two winner, Brendan Fevola, Tomic won't be getting a cent.
On Fifi, Fev & Byron on Fox FM, the retired footballer said, "you've got to do two weeks and then you get paid your money".
"He will get no money. If you leave, you don't get any money. So that's the incentive to stay."
Speaking exclusively to the Daily Telegraph's Jonathon Moran following his dramatic exit from the show, Tomic said he was focused on getting "back to where I belong".
"I just don't think that it was the right time for me here," he said. "If it was the right choice and I had nothing to regret and think back to at what I am leaving, I would have stayed, I am 100 per cent certain. It is what it is and I hope one day I can come back to this in maybe a decade and complete it," he said.