The Valleys reality star Lateysha Grace ready 'to start a fresh chapter'
IT has been a whirlwind year for Port Talbot reality star Lateysha Grace.
Last year the 20-year-old was picked from obscurity by producers of MTV reality show The Valleys and thrust into the spotlight overnight.
But her life was turned upside down in a negative way when she had to face allegations of assault at court.
The hearing took place just days before she was due to appear in the controversial television show.
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But a Swansea Crown Court jury found her not guilty of assaulting her former friend.
"It was the most difficult time of my life," said Lateysha, who lives in Sandfields.
"I want to start a fresh chapter and I am glad it is behind me. I am glad the truth came out. I just want to forget about it."
The Valleys first aired last September for six weeks and hit the headlines for showing nudity and scenes of a sexual nature.
"It has been crazy," said Lateysha.
"Everybody asks me for a picture when I am out shopping. I can't go out looking like a scruff because people take pictures and post them on Twitter."
The non-scripted series follows nine participants as they move to live and work in Cardiff and is the latest in a line of reality shows charting the daily lives of "ordinary people", which have included The Only Way is Essex, Geordie Shore and Made in Chelsea .
After the show first hit the screens, Rhondda Labour MP Chris Bryant said it was "twice as bad" as he had feared it was going to be, while the singer Charlotte Church described the series as "horrific".
The makers of the show previously defended its portrayal of the area, saying it was "absolutely not about stereotyping". There is now a second series due to be filmed.
In response to the criticism Lateysha said she felt they should not be judged. "I don't think anybody should think of us as role models. We are not doing anything different from other people our age."