Big Brother premiered its 19th season on Wednesday, introducing its cast and a few changes for another season of 24/7 reality foolishness. But once it returns to CBS this Sunday, one contestant will be absent. Megan Lowder made the decision to leave the show for her own health, claiming that being on the show triggered her PTSD resulting from a past sexual assault. Lowder revealed her decision to The Desert Sun in her hometown, pointing out that the early situations she ran into on Big Brother brought on the trouble:
“When I was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, I was sexually assaulted and I got really bad PTSD from it,” said Lowder, who served in the Navy.
“So in the house… I had a lot of guys yelling at me and attacking me and it started really affecting me and making my anxiety severe and I was starting to get physically ill. I was throwing up, I had diarrhea, I was nauseous all the time.”
Thursday’s latter half of the two night Big Brother premiere saw Lowder face some stiff criticism from her fellow cast mates following one of the “head of the household” challenges, with contestant Josh Martinez calling Lowder a snake and bully according to USA Today, singling her out for “not having a good heart.”
Megan was also singled out during the elimination portion, with contestant Cody Nickson nomination Lowder because he didn’t like her. Martinez had apologized for his comments, but she indicates that these comments and similar sentiments from other cast members led to her decision to leave. She also addressed the rumor that she left the show due to pressure from an alleged racial comment she made on the live stream for the show:
“I read a lot of the stuff that people were saying about me. I never made a racial comment,” said Lowder. In fact, she said she was the one who heard another house guest call another female contestant a “Panda” and shared with that person what she heard.
Online reports based on the live feed said Lowder told Alex Ow that Jessica Graf had called her a panda, but Ow accuses Lowder of lying about the remark.
“I could have heard wrong, it’s entirely possible, but I was already talking to them about wanting to leave before that and so at that point I knew I couldn’t handle it anymore and I went into the diary room where I started having a panic attack and they wound up taking me to the hospital a couple hours later,” said Lowder.
Lowder took to Twitter after the interview was released on Friday, thanking fans for the support and apologizing if they believed she took another spot from someone who was more “deserving.”
In the end, Lowder takes responsibility for her exit and doesn’t hold anybody on the show accountable, saying that the decision to leave was her own according to USA Today:
“I was expecting to have one of the funnest summers of my life. I did have fun. I had a great time until all that just got the best of me
“It was my own issues that lead to everything, it wasn’t anyone else’s fault… “Without my stuff going on I probably could have handled things very, very differently and been fine but I just couldn’t.”
CBS has yet to officially announce the exit, waiting for Sunday’s broadcast to address Lowder’s decision. The interview with The Desert Sun allows Lowder to control how her absence from the show is handled.