Published On: Thu, Apr 29th, 2021

Gemma Collins puts on a brave face after being left ‘heartbroken’ by the death of Rhys Alan Smith

Gemma Collins put on a brave face while announcing she was ‘heartbroken’ by the death of her friend, Rhys Alan Smith.  

Rhys, the ex-boyfriend of TOWIE star Harry Derbidge, was found dead in Tenerife last week, and police are not treating the death as suspicious. 

Taking to Instagram on Thursday, Gemma, 40, spoke about her grief as she posed for pictures with a waitress from her favourite restaurant.  

Staying strong: Gemma Collins put on a brave face in an Instagram post on Thursday while announcing she was ‘heartbroken’ by the death of her friend, Rhys Alan Smith

Alongside the beaming snap, Gemma penned: ‘Just felt like dressing up to get a cuppa from my fave @pelliccicafe ❤️ they make you feel so special ❤️ and it means so much always ❤️

‘I’ve been so down recently and absolutely heartbroken after my dear friend more a little brother passed away it’s really cheered me up ❤️ sorry I’ve been quiet on the gram but you just realise it’s all kinda BS when real things happen ❤️ 

‘I love you all @pelliccicafe ❤️ and thank you for making a fuss of my mum ❤️ I’m just taking it easy at the moment ❤️ @pelliccicafe deserve an award for making people happy [sic]’. 

Candid: Taking to Instagram, Gemma, 40, spoke about her grief as she posed for pictures with a waitress from her favourite restaurant

Candid: Taking to Instagram, Gemma, 40, spoke about her grief as she posed for pictures with a waitress from her favourite restaurant

Heartbreaking: Rhys, the ex-boyfriend of TOWIE star Harry Derbidge, was found dead in Tenerife last week, and police are not treating the death as suspicious (pictured together in a throwback photo shared by Rhys earlier this year)

Heartbreaking: Rhys, the ex-boyfriend of TOWIE star Harry Derbidge, was found dead in Tenerife last week, and police are not treating the death as suspicious (pictured together in a throwback photo shared by Rhys earlier this year)

Gemma’s outing comes after it was revealed to MailOnline that Rhys’ death is not being treated as suspicious by police. 

Last week, it was revealed that Rhys had been found dead in Tenerife where he had been living, with the cast of the The Only Way Is Essex paying tribute.  

Gemma paid tribute to Rhys commenting on his final Instagram post: ‘My heart will never be the same. I won’t ever be the same, love you Reece’. 

Police sources on the island confirmed on Tuesday that officers had been called to an address in Granadilla de Abona in the south of the island in the early hours of last Thursday morning.

Exes: Rhys dated TOWIE star Harry Derbidge in 2013 with the former couple regularly appearing at events together before Harry dated Bobby Norris

Exes: Rhys dated TOWIE star Harry Derbidge in 2013 with the former couple regularly appearing at events together before Harry dated Bobby Norris

An insider told MailOnline: ‘The alarm was raised around 3.50am and a man was confirmed as being dead at the address officers went to.

‘An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death is still ongoing and a report has been sent to a local court coordinating the probe.

‘But there were no obvious signs of any violence and at this stage the death is not being treated as suspicious or the result of a crime.’

Rhys’ last Instagram post was on April 3 where he shared a photo of himself in Tenerife captioned: ‘Quality time with myself.’ 

Prior to that, he had spent time in Dubai where he had shared several pictures of himself enjoying various activities such as kayaking with friends. 

He then returned to his former base in Spain where he is believed to have been training as a masseuse.  

Exes: In 2014, Harry split from Bobby after he told the reality star he had slept with an ex at the beginning of their romance (Harry and Bobby pictured in 2014)

Exes: In 2014, Harry split from Bobby after he told the reality star he had slept with an ex at the beginning of their romance (Harry and Bobby pictured in 2014) 

Rhys dated TOWIE star Harry in 2013 with the former couple regularly appearing at events together before Harry dated Bobby.

In 2014, Harry split from Bobby after he told the reality star he had slept with an ex at the beginning of their romance.

He said at the time: ‘Before I tell you this I absolutely love you so much. Please don’t cry, please. When we was in Tenerife I did sleep with my ex. I’m f**king so sorry because I f**king never meant to hurt you, I really didn’t.’ 

Only recently on TOWIE, Harry and Bobby have been caught in several bitter rows as they addressed their past split, although Rhys was never directly named on the show. 

Bobby, who went on to ‘take a break’ from the ITVBe series, branded Harry a ‘compulsive liar’ and accused him of trying to ‘rewrite the history’ of their break-up, which took place seven years ago. 

The reality star’s pal Amy Childs – who is also Harry’s cousin – tried to build bridges between the pair by inviting them both to dinner, however the meeting ended in a bitter row and Bobby stormed off. 

Harry had been unhappy with Amy carrying on a friendship with his ex, despite the fact their relationship ended seven years ago and Harry is now engaged.  

Sad: Earlier this year, Rhys (pictured in March) had spent time in Dubai where he had shared several pictures of himself enjoying various activities such as kayaking with friends

Sad: Earlier this year, Rhys (pictured in March) had spent time in Dubai where he had shared several pictures of himself enjoying various activities such as kayaking with friends

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