Richmond native, ‘X Factor’ star Thomas Wells dies in Britain

Richmond native Thomas Wells, star of the Syco UK television show “The X Factor,” has died at age 46, he said in a blog post, leading his girlfriend to post a heartbreaking farewell.

“My man, You were taken away from me way too soon,” Wells’ girlfriend, writer AnneMarie Oakley, wrote Saturday night. “I love you & you’re always with me in spirit.”

Oakley said the two were out on a “date night” when Wells went for a walk in the snowy conditions of a near-freezing northern English morning on Saturday. “He must have been in a bit of a rush to meet me,” she wrote.

“We met up at my place and I had some champagne, he had some orange juice and we smoked some pipes & had a few cigarettes,” Oakley added. “We had plans to see a movie, but after three hours his phone was going crazy so we started texting each other to see how the day was going. Then it suddenly happened. It never really hit me. It made no sense. It was so bizarre.”

It wasn’t until she called Wells’ number and it didn’t go through that she realized he had passed away. “I sat there numb with grief for around 12 hours,” she wrote. “I can’t understand. It makes no sense.”

Oakley said she thought her boyfriend was joking when he said he was going to her place for a romantic evening. She said it was after she left that she checked on him and “could see he had put his head on the bar.”

“I know I said I would come there with him but I don’t think he was ready to tell me he was dead yet,” she wrote. “He must have run out of gas & didn’t think I’d come. It was only really after he died that I realized he was lying.”

Oakley said she put Wells’ phone on speakerphone with a relative so the family could hear the heartbreaking goodbye from him. “I can hear his voice screaming in pain,” she wrote. “We all listened. We were all crying and crying until I put my phone down.”

Oakley said she knew from the time she first met Wells in 2010 that he had serious issues with his mental health. “He was so very vulnerable,” she wrote. “I can’t comprehend how vulnerable I was as a woman by picking this person who had this insecurities. He put me through hell. He treated me with such disrespect.”

She said he made her feel crazy and did many odd and abusive things, which included choking her, beating her with a chain and putting a bar between her ankles and beating her with it. “My depression was reaching dangerous levels,” she wrote. “I was at that point where I felt like I couldn’t be me. I never felt so alone in my entire life.”

She wrote that her faith helped her to survive the abuse and mental issues that Wells brought her way. “He was very addicted to pornography,” she wrote. “He tried to abuse me physically, verbally and emotionally, but my faith helped me believe there was hope.”

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