Sacked X Factor New Zealand judge Natalia Kills defends her comments, says she's the victim of bullying
Sacked X Factor New Zealand judge Natalia Kills has defended her scathing critique of contestant Joe Irvine, and said she is the victim of bullying.
Kills was was sacked, along with her husband and fellow judge Willy Moon, last month over their "inappropriate" comments on Joe Irvine's performance and look.
Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, she said, "It's so sad how [TV3] encourage so much drama but then when their sponsor and the public react badly they release a statement branding us as 'bullies'."
The diminutive singer also said that she was, in fact, the victim of bullying as she has been subjected to abuse online since her sacking.
"The racism, homophobia, death and rape threats and online attacks have been a real eye-opener to what bullying really is," she said.
"It's not the same as criticism. It's not the same as being told off for your outfit choice. It's far greater and sadder than anything I've ever witnessed and I refuse to be the victim of it.
"When Joe hinted at what his show was going to be like I just knew, you know? And the fact that he didn't even react made it obvious to everyone [he was copying Moon], but coming from a music background my husband and I had no idea how 'reality' TV was set up."
Natalie went on to say that in comparison to Simon Cowell on the UK X Factor, her criticism was "light".
"I've been a fan of The X Factor and Simon Cowell my whole life, and what we said is light compared to what Gordon Ramsay, Simon Cowell and many others have said on national television and been celebrated for," she said.
Cowell recently said it was Natalia and Willy's "arrogance" which resulted in their sacking.