Alex Reid has broken his silence on his month-long stint in prison, calling the experience a violation of his ‘human rights’.
In April, the former cage-fighter was sentenced to eight weeks in jail for contempt of court after he lied in a witness statement while trying to claim compensation for a car crash.
Having been released after serving four weeks at HMP Pentonville in Islington, the 45-year-old reality star spoke out about his time inside, admitting it had left a ‘lasting impression’.
Detailing the darker moments during his stay in a YouTube video, Reid said that he witnessed a stabbing, was taunted by inmates about his marriage to glamour model Katie Price, and resided in a cell that was teeming with cockroaches and rats.
Speaking out: Alex Reid has broken his silence on his month-long stint in prison, calling the experience a violation of his ‘human rights’
Offering his followers an insight into prison life, Alex said prison guards would interview prisoners and determine a good cellmate for them based on their religious beliefs and hometowns.
He explained: ‘A big thing in prison is postcode wars. A smaller version of what’s going on in Israel, or any war in the world.
‘These young lads are territorial, fighting over their postcode. They’re killing each other. Literally. I witnessed one stabbing while I was in the shower.’
Reid said he was able to pick a cellmate that he managed to get on with as he recalled his first few days in the prison.
He explained: ‘Everyone’s peacocking; You’re scared. I went into the holding cell to be processed to go into Pentonville. I saw one lad who looked so scared, and I offered him a friendly smile.
‘I didn’t even say a word to him, just because all you need in there, all you need in life when the chips are down and you’re scared is a bit of compassion for someone. It can make all the difference.’
Shocking: Reid said that he witnessed a stabbing, was taunted by inmates about his marriage to glamour model Katie Price (pictured in 2010) and his cell that was teeming with cockroaches
Reid ended up in a cell with the same man he’d smiled at, with the pair having to work together to combat a rodent infestation in the cells.
He explained: ‘There were cockroaches and mice and that didn’t bother me when my cellmate was up screaming. It did bother me when one ran over my face.
‘I’m laughing now but it was a miserable night. I had 58 killed at one point, all over the wall. I became a killer, there was blood, guts.’
Complaints of infestations of cockroaches were listed in a scrutiny report by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons in November 2020, with reports that mice and pest control had attended the prison several times in recent months.
Changed: Having been released after serving four weeks at HMP Pentonville in Islington, the reality star spoke out about his time inside, admitting it had left a ‘lasting impression’
Reid also criticised the hygiene aspect of his time in prison.
The scrutiny report found that only 16 per cent of prisoners in the survey said they could shower every day, and only prisoners who were in full-time work were offered a daily shower, with many going longer than two days without.
Reid said his experience was the same, saying he was only able to shower three times a week and had to make do ‘with an army wash’ in the sink in their cells.
He elaborated: ‘You have a sink and a toilet in your cell. So you end up pooing where the camera is. Which isn’t very pleasant and I believe is against your human rights. But I also think the mouse and the cockroach is not good for human rights.’
Despite his experiences, Reid said he ‘weirdly enjoyed’ his time inside as it allowed him to switch off from the outside world, however he thinks his army training came into play.
The former paratrooper mused: ‘It’s made a lasting impression on me. I actually enjoyed it, isn’t that weird. But I don’t want to go back there.
‘I probably didn’t enjoy it. I’ve witnessed horrible things. It’s the army mentality to put a smile on your face and make things wonderful, even when you’re in hell.’
He went on to state that he was also able to avoid confrontation but admitted he did fall foul to a few taunts, including one about Katie Price, who he married Las Vegas in February 2010, but their relationship was short lived and they divorced 11 months later.
Weird: Despite his experiences, Reid said he ‘weirdly enjoyed’ his time inside as it allowed him to switch off from the outside world, however he thinks his army training came into play
He explained: ‘There were a couple of comments about my ex-wife [Katie] and one about dressing as a girl. Just one.
‘Everyone could see I wasn’t someone to be messed with. And that’s a tricky thing to do in prison. You don’t want to be too strong, too alpha male, create attention.’
MailOnline has contacted HMP Pentonville for comment.
Reid was sentenced to eight weeks in prison back in April, of which he served half his time. In a rare move, Reid was not given a criminal record, but had to serve time in jail.
The High Court heard Reid made a county court claim for insurance compensation after an Audi driven by him was involved in a crash with another driver in January 2018.
As part of that submission, he said in a sworn statement that he did not know a motorbike rider called Darren Summers, who it was claimed had witnessed the crash.
However, the other motorist’s insurers, Axa Insurance UK, discovered an article on a local news website about an appearance Reid had made at a mixed martial arts (MMA) masterclass in Ipswich in September 2017.
The article stated that Mr Summers, a former European and world kickboxing champion, had organised the event for charity.
The former paratrooper mused: ‘It’s made a lasting impression on me. I actually enjoyed it, isn’t that weird. But I don’t want to go back there’
The former cage fighter tried claiming up to £50,000 plus £11,500 in ‘special damages’ – but the court heard he likely would have received only £20,000 if the bid was successful.
Reid admitted contempt of court when Axa initiated High Court committal proceedings against him in January this year.
Sentencing him to eight weeks in prison, Mrs Justice Eady said she took into account the mitigation put forward on his behalf, including that his fiancée is six months’ pregnant and he has recently been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.
However, the judge said that only a custodial term would reflect the serious nature of his dishonesty.
She said he would serve half of his sentence in prison and the remaining half on licence following his release.
Pictured together: Celebrity Big Brother winner Alex married Katie in Las Vegas in February 2010, but the relationship was short lived and they divorced 11 months later (pictured in 2009)
Reid, from Aldershot, is engaged to Nikki Manashe, 36, and the couple are expecting a baby following a seven-year fertility battle.
In November, the couple confirmed they were expecting twins but sadly Nikki miscarried one of the babies in December.
In his YouTube video, Alex mused: ‘I feel massive guilt for the people I left behind, the people who needed me.
‘My fiancee who is seven weeks away from giving birth. We’ve had to rush to the hospital twice in the last month with complications – she’s extremely stressed. I felt so selfish.’
Sportsman Alex also shares an eight-year-old daughter Dolly, with former partner Chantelle Houghton.
The father-of-one revealed in March that he had been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome after years of ‘relentless bullying for being different’.
The reality star said the diagnosis helped him to understand why he’s always felt different and called it a ‘relief’ but admitted it was ‘unnerving.’
Announcement: Former cage fighter Alex, from Aldershot, is now engaged to 36-year-old Nikki Manashe and the couple are expecting a baby following a seven-year fertility battle