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Gemma Collins has apologised for being quiet on social media as she revealed she is "absolutely heartbroken" following the death of one of her close friends.

The former TOWIE star, 40, opened up on how she has felt "so down" days after she paid a tribute to her former co-star Harry Derbidge's ex boyfriend Rhys Alan Smith, who was found dead in Tenerife, where he lived, last week.

Rhys was in a relationship with Harry in 2013 before he started dating Bobby Norris, who is currently taking a break from the show.

Gemma, who was recently seen with Rami Hawash having a romantic sushi date, looked gorgeous wearing a glamorous jump-suit as she told her Instagram followers: "Just felt like dressing up to get a cuppa from my fave @pelliccicafe they make you feel so special and it means so much always.

"I’ve been so down recently and absolutely heartbroken after my dear friend more a little brother passed away it’s really cheered me up."

She went on to write: "Sorry I’ve been quiet on the gram but you just realise it’s all kinda BS when real things happen.

"I love you all @pelliccicafe and thank you for making a fuss of my mum I’m just taking it easy at the moment.

"@pelliccicafe deserve an award for making people happy," she finished writing.

Although Gemma didn't name her friend, she recently paid tribute to Rhys by leaving a comment on the last picture he posted on Instagram.

She wrote: "My heart will never be the same I won’t ever be the same love you Reece."

Many fans commented on Gemma's post, with one writing: "He was such a lovely boy Rhys, so tragic.

"Just makes you think life is far too short," they added.

Another shared: "You’re looking fantastic Gemma x."

This was followed by a third who said: "Take care, my love," with three love heart emojis.

Gemma's ex boyfriend James 'Arg' Argent also shared: "RIP Rhys – a lovely human being and the most beautiful person inside and out."

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