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Aaryn Gries: I've been in and out of depression since my stint on 'Big Brother'


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/24/2013 

Aaryn Gries has apparently had a very tough time bouncing back from her stint on Big Brother's fifteenth season during which she made national headlines for racist "jokes" and homophobic slurs.

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"I've been in and out of depression since the whole thing happened," Gries told her local San Antonio Express-News newspaper last week, about a month following the show's finale.

"I'm not a racist in any way, but I know I said things that were insensitive and mean."

The former houseguest, a 23-year-old college student from San Angelo, TX, admitted she was attacked on Twitter with "so much hate" it got "really overwhelming." 

"It's probably the worst moment of my entire life so far," Gries said.

"It really opened up my eyes and shocked me. I didn't realize how serious the things that I said had been taken up until that point. It was really hard for me because I don't have any hate in my heart for any specific race or sexuality. It's really difficult to defend yourself -- especially when you said things that were horrible."

Gries told Big Brother host Julie Chen in September she and her fellows Texans just tended to joke about topics such as race and sexuality in a similar manner to what was shown of her on TV. Her home state reportedly fired back furiously at the time for being dragged into the drama.

"I was raised on a ranch by a very old-fashioned family, but what happened around me doesn't represent everything around Texas," clarified Gries, who is apparently considering either returning to Texas State University in January or finishing her fourth year of college via courses online.

"I'm not scared of going to Texas State. I'm not scared of showing my face anywhere. I'm doing what I can and owning up to my mistakes, and I'm not going to hide from them."

Since Big Brother, according to the San Antonio Express-News, Gries has traveled to Las Vegas, New Mexico and Virginia, where she met a new boyfriend. When people see her on the street, they're reportedly cordial to her despite her Big Brother reputation.

"Some have asked for pictures," Gries told the newspaper. "No one said anything negative. People may talk bad about you online, but when they come up to you and meet you in person, they're nice."

And Gries is apparently trying to move on from the controversy, as she claims she learned a lot from the experience.

"[I want] to travel around the world, experience different cultures, become more well-rounded... I've clearly been living in a bubble, and I need to change that," Gries explained.

"I'm doing everything I can to change my actions and those of people around me. When I hear anyone talking like that, I correct them immediately."

(Photo credit CBS)


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