Towie reunion: ten years of scandals from drug addiction to petrol bombing to arrests and jail time

THE Only Way Is Essex has thrilled fans with its intense relationship dramas, loving friendships and vicious conflicts since 2010.

But what viewers see on screen isn't the entire story, as the cast have faced multiple scandals away from the cameras.

Whether that's being arrested by the police, being the target of gangs, or having their businesses petrol bombed, behind-the-scenes is often as volatile as the show itself.

We take a look at the controversies that have mired Towie in the last ten years.

Mark Wright's bar brawl court date

Arguably the face of Towie, Mark faced Redbridge Magistrates' Court in Essex on charges of using threatening behaviour outside a nightclub in January 2011.

The star, then 24, was alleged to have "seen red" after he heard Tom Grantham, then 21, say he was going to throw a brick through the window of Deuces Bar and Lounge.

He co-owned Deuces with Jack Tweed – the widower of Jade Goody.

Mark was cleared of all charges at the court, while business partner Jack admitted common assault in relation to the assault on Tom Grantham the same night.

Mark Wright and Lauren Goodger's Petrol bombing attacks

Deuces nightclub brought more bad luck for Mark, as in 2010 the fire brigade were called to club in Chigwell Road at 4.50am.


Police launched an investigation and treated it as suspected arson.

Luckily no one was hurt, but the fire itself started hours after Mark and his Towie co-stars filmed their Halloween party for the show.

Mark's former fiance was also targeted by thugs just hours after opening her salon Lauren's Way.

She said there was about £10,000 worth of damage and she ended up spending £750 on steel security shutters.

James 'Arg' Argent's drug battle

Beloved castmember Arg has publicly struggled with his cocaine battle.

Fears began in 2014 after he was filmed being taken off a plane with his shirt covered in vomit.

The next year, he started his first stint in rehab after his partying spiralled out of control.

However, worries peaked in October 2019 when ambulances were called to James' house after friends and family feared he overdosed.

The Sun Online revealed he jetted off to Thailand to be treated in a £20,000 a month rehab facility.

Arg goes missing

In 2014, Scotland Yard issued a missing persons alert as worried friends and family tried to track Arg down.

Fans started the hashtag #PrayForArg, with co-star Sam Faiers tweeting her worry.

However, it turned out Arg travelled to Stansted Airport instead of Gatwick, where his agent was waiting for him to board his flight to Majorca for work.

Sam and Billie Faiers attacked in a nightclub

Sam and Billie Faiers were both attacked by a gang of girls at the Jet Black club in Central London.

Billie was hit to the floor, before the fight continued outside. The gang pulled her hair and dragged her along the street. Billie lost her shoes, bracelet and bag in the assault.

Billie was rushed to safety by a friend to their pal Greg Shephard's house in Chigwell, Essex.

However, Sam was called by one of the attackers using her sister's stolen phone, luring her to Repton Park – a gated estate near Chigwell.

Promising to give back Billie's things, Sam arrived – but was set upon within seconds of getting out of the cab.

Sam told The Sun at the time: "I don’t know what was happening to anyone else but I just remember hearing the cab driver screaming for them to stop. I passed out. I can’t remember anything.”

James Lock Ketamine possession

James Lock pleaded guilty to possessing Class C drug Ketamine in 2014.

He was initially arrested on suspicion of possessing Class A drugs and criminal damage after him and another male were involved in a dispute with a taxi driver in Dagenham, Essex.

He swerved a three month prison sentence and instead was given conditional discharge and ordered to pay £85 in costs.

He was temporarily suspended from the show during the investigation.

James Lock racism probe

The star was investigated by the show following a claim he used racial insults against men during a pool party at an Essex mansion in Chigwell.

It was claimed James used racial slurs in his conversation with the two men.

The men didn't complain, but a witness overheard the remarks made in 2015 and complained.

He was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

Mario Falcone cocaine scandal

In June 2014, The Sun saw a video of Mario Falcone snorting cocaine in a pal's kitchen.

A source told us at the time: "We had been out as a group and wanted to carry the party on.

“Mario had his own ideas on how to do that, though. He just started snorting this stuff in front of everyone. No one could believe their eyes.”

Mario faced suspension from the show and was banned from filming in Marbella with the rest of the cast.

Following the video, Mario released a statement saying: "I would like to publicly apologise to my loyal family and friends, all of my co-stars on Towie, to ITV and most importantly to all of the fans…

"After a few personal issues, I went off the rails. I have been seeking professional assistance and am now fit and well."

Mike Hassini drink driving

Mike crashed his Mercedes into another Mercedes at a traffic light on Oxford Street in August 2016.

Police found he was two times over the drink drive limit and in possession of a "small quantity" of cocaine.

He was ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work, pay £170 in costs and was disqualified from driving after pleading guilty to possessing the Class A drug and driving with excess alcohol.

Mike Hassini and Dan Edgar's money laundering

Mike Hassini and Dan Edgar were connected to separate money laundering schemes involving diamonds.

In May 2018, Mike was spared jail for his involvement in a fraud scheme that conned 28 investors.

Basildon Crown Court heard he was one of 12 people convicted in scams involving 28 victims and investments of between £400,000 and £450,000.

They scammed people by cold calling them and claiming to make profits in the sale of coloured diamonds.

They also used the name of an established firm in the US and pinched their logo.

But the two companies were bogus and the cash was instead used to fund the criminals' lavish lifestyles.

Mike got a 15 month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, after he admitted money laundering. He was also ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work after the court heard about his previous convictions for posession and drink driving.

Dan was also connected to a money laundering scheme involving diamonds.

In 2017 was forced to sign a disqualification undertaking for being the operations manager at company Reco Commodities, which scammed 18 victims out of a total of £415,000.

Reco promoted a false trading history of 15 years and said its founder and senior brokers had a combined experience of over 50 years – in reality the company was set up in 2013.

Fearne McCann's ex-boyfriend in acid attack

Ferne McCann's ex Arthur Collins was jailed for 20 years for squirting acid across a packed nightclub.

The then-25-year-old was the target of a huge police manhunt in April 2017 after he lobbed acid across a dancefloor at Mangle club, East London. It left 22 clubgoers injured.

Collins was captured and charged after fleeing to Northamptonshire.

Reality star Ferne, 29 — who dumped him immediately — was pregnant with his child at the time. She gave birth to daughter Sunday in November of that year.

Collins has seven years to serve before he can even be considered for parole.

One of the victims – Sophie Hall – was left with "permanent scars" from the attack. She later inspired millions by making the final of Miss England in 2018.

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