Jermaine Pennant says he will save his marriage to wife Alice after flirting with Chloe Ayling in Celebrity Big Brother house – but says they might keep in touch

The ex-footballer has apologised to his wife of four years Alice Goodwin after being booted out of Celebrity Big Brother in a surprise eviction last night.

Viewers were enraged when Jermaine flirted outrageously with Chloe – despite being married since 2014.

His wife failed to appear at his eviction last night after he sent secret messages to the 21-year-old by writing in eyeliner, telling her: "I like you."

Talking to The Sun Online, Jermaine revealed he'd said sorry for what happened, but hinted he's still keen for a chat with Chloe on the outside.

He said: "I spoke to my wife as soon as I got back to the hotel. I called her. Obviously she is upset.

"A lot of people have been putting their two pence in and making it seem a lot worse.

"It was innocent even thought it didn't look it. Nothing happened, it was just a little bit of flirting.

"It wasn't a fling or anything like that. It was just me being immature and flirting.

"I have apologised for how it may look on the outside and if she's been embarrassed and upset.

"She accepted it and what we do now is move on and we'll continue our lives like we did before I went in there."

The former Arsenal winger took his wedding ring off in the house – leaving housemates shocked when they finally discovered his hidden relationship.

Jermaine defended his actions by saying his now well-known catchphrase "it was just banter", but was booed by eviction crowds last night.

He added that he never wears his wedding ring at home.

But when asked whether he regrets flirting with Chloe, Jermaine said: "I'd probably have stayed in longer, so definitely."

He also insisted that he came on CBB to show the real him and showed off his "fun, caring, nice and respectable side".

Jermaine continued: "It's no one's fault. I thought I made it clear I was married. I thought everyone saw my ring on live evictions. That's baffling.

"When everyone got talking I did say I've got a partner and I'm married. If people weren't listening that's not my fault.

"I like to keep my private life private."

It didn't stop Jermaine telling Celebrity Big Brother viewers he fancied Chloe in the confession task.

When Chloe was told by CBB host Emma Willis that she had been duped by the 35-year-old, she slammed him as " disgusting".

She claims to have had no idea he was married or even in a long-term relationship with someone on the outside.

But his wife Alice had appeared on Rylan Clark-Neal's CBB Bit on the Side to support her other half on launch night.

Jermaine said: "When you've got people leaving condoms on your pillow and others saying you're going to be in trouble, it's not going to go down too well.

"It was a joke on the inside saying I've got nowhere to go when I leave CBB. It was all in jest.

"I think Chloe knew that and she's tried to protect herself like any 21-year-old who has been through what she has would."

Quizzed on whether he'll see Chloe again, Jermaine said: "If I see her I'll speak to her or she can contact me. I'll see her in six days anyway.

"I know when I see her she'll smile and laugh. She knows what it was, it was a game. If I do see her it'll be fine."

He then went on to defend his past reputation as a cheat, which forced him to go to therapy to tackle his problem.

Jermaine added: "When I went to therapy it was because of proper cheating, this was just flirting. There's a difference between cheating and flirting.

"All I did was flirt. I said I would speak to Chloe because I didn't want her or anyone else to get the wrong idea.

"I didn't want to speak to her on camera and embarrass her or my family. I'd rather speak to her in private.

"Cheating is going on dates and kissing. I said I liked her at confessions because they didn't make it easy for me.

"At that moment I would have said anything for my team to win the task."

A party in the Celebrity Big Brother house was abruptly cut short last night when Emma Willis delivered the shock news that Jermaine would be evicted immediately.

During his exit interview Jermaine was shown the infamous clip that showed Ryan Thomas play-fighting with Roxanne Pallett before she accused him of physical assault.

Watching open mouthed, Jermaine said: “Is that it? I thought it was something more than that.

“I feel like a mug. That’s really bad.

“She made it feel ten times worse. I thought it was sexual. She was talking about lawyers and going to the highest place in CBB.

“What was she thinking? It must be a vendetta.”

He told The Sun Online he didn't think the housemates needed to be shown the video, because they already believe Ryan.

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