Ulrika Jonsson has stepped out to defend Ferne McCann after the former TOWIE star's voice notes were leaked, saying: "We all say things we regret."
Ferne, 32, apologised to Sophie Hall – the victim of her ex Arthur Collins' acid attack – after a voice note was leaked in which she called her "ugly".
Pausing on Ferne's show, First Time Mum, was paused after the scandal, but TV icon Ulrika, 55, has called for it not to be cancelled.
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Ulrika said: "At least she's accepting some responsibility for the situation. We all say things we refret. If you haven't, then you're either lying or you're Mother Teresa."
She added, writing for The Sun : "We say things privately – not intended for public consumption – in personal communications.
"I know for a fact that if the stark and sometimes vulgar honesty which is the foundation of my relationship with my best friend was ever revealed, you might not just drop your morning toast but be utterly outraged by our use of language."
The Gladiators legend went on: "I do feel empathy for Ferne for that very reason. She presumed she was talking confidentially."
Ferne released a statement on social media after she was faced with huge backlash.
It read: "I am aware that people will have a number of questions about the voice messages being put into the public domain and purportedly sent by me. I feel I have no choice but to address these (to the extent that I can as there are restrictions on me which I explain below).
"Most importantly I want to apologise to all the victims of Arthur Collins abhorrent actions in 2017 that they have to relive that night and the pain that followed because this matter is again in the public domain. In particular I want to apologise to Sophie Hall. I do not believe her to be ugly or stupid. She has been brave beyond belief.
"Arthur Collins' crimes created genuine victims so I am not trying to portray myself as one."
Ferne said that she could not speak too much due to "important and significant legal proceedings", but she claimed: "The voice messages that are being released are manipulated; edited and taken entirely out of context.
"Even so, I will have said things that are untrue and I did not believe – but I did so to protect my family and myself from serious harm and in the fact of significant threats."
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