'It's making my heart ache': Fans rally round Megan McKenna as new TOWIE airs romantic birthday date with Pete Wicks... filmed days before his sexting scandal emerged
It was revealed last month that Pete Wicks had been sending explicit messages to his ex while on holiday with girlfriend Megan McKenna.
But Sunday night's debut of The Only Way Is Marbs kicked off prior to Megan's knowledge of the messages - and aired now-heartbreaking scenes of the pair romantically celebrating her birthday together.
The episode saw Pete, 26, declare his love for his girlfriend before presenting her with a Rolex watch - causing Twitter users to lash out at the tattooed bad boy and support the heartbroken beauty, 24, in light of his cyber infidelity.
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Happier times: The new TOWIE episode saw Pete, 26, declare his love for his girlfriend Megan McKenna, 24, on her birthday - just days before his unfaithful behaviour was discovered
The scene saw Pete enter with a huge bouquet of flowers, to Megan's delight.
After wishing her a happy birthday, the long-haired hunk added in an almost foreboding manner: 'Hopefully not the last we celebrate together', to which Megan replied 'Obviously not!'
Pete then awarded his girl with the extravagant gift of a Rolex watch, alongside a heartfelt hand-written card which read: 'Megan, this may be your first birthday with me but hopefully not the last.
'I know I have my faults but you accept them, and I am grateful for that.
Looking back: The episode aired scenes of the couple looking completely besotted - which are now heartbreaking to watch
Devoted fans: Twitter users immediately showed their support for Megan, who was likely to be watching the loved-up scene air after the couple's messy split
'I have so much admiration for you and everything you have achieved. You are the best girlfriend a geezer could ask for.'
Before signing off: 'Happy birthday, I love you,' and sealing the message with a kiss.
Twitter users immediately took to their social media pages to show their support for Megan, who was watching the loved-up scene air one week after the couple's messy split.
One user wrote in disbelief: 'Will never get how Pete cheated on Megan after tonight's episode #TOWIE.'
Emotional: Many expressed sympathy for the reality star as Pete read out his romantic words
Heartbreaking: The viewing was as upsetting for TOWIE fans as well as Megan in light of his sexting scandal with ex-model flame Jacqui Ryland
Still getting over it: Many users expressed their disbelief at his actions, stating they will 'never get how Pete cheated' and that the couple 'seemed so perfect'
While another found his words laughable in light of his saucy antics, writing: 'Awkward at the s*** Pete's just come out with!'
Meanwhile endless other users flocked to Megan's side in the situation, and showing their support for her in her heartbreak.
One wrote: 'Ouch... bet this is tough viewing for Megan McKenna tonight' and another agreed: 'Poor Megan McKenna... finding #towie so sad to watch.'
Not having it: Further fans of the show even lashed out at Pete for conducting himself in such a two-faced manner
Foreboding: Occuring before Megan's knowledge to his messages, the fans reflected on how happy she had been with him, and how devastated she is now
Further fans of the show even lashed out at Pete for conducting himself in such a two-faced manner.
One fan became particularly passionate, writing: 'Cringey b*****d! We all know what you've been up to! Pete showing everybody how sly men really are #TOWIE'
While another observed sadly: 'They do say a watch is a 'parting gift'' before adding a selection of teary emojis.
Just days after the birthday meal, the couple were seen in the midst of an explosive row on the beach - which is set to air in Wednesday's episode - after Megan discovered he had sent inappropriate texts to his ex-model flame Jacqui Ryland while in Marbella.
Gotcha: Just days after the meal, the couple had an explosive row on the beach after Megan discovered he had sent explicit texts to his ex-flame Jacqui Ryland while in Marbella
In the preview of the fight shown at the end of the episode, Megan is seen screeching at Pete about the extravagant present: 'You see this watch, this has got guilt written all over it!'
Before adding tearily as she stormed off: 'You've been telling this girl you want to be single - go and be f**king single then!'
According to The Sun, many of the texts were too explicit to print, but one saw him admit he 'can't wait to get home' from the 'boring' trip with his girlfriend, and that it is not just Jacqui who misses their previous relationship.
It was also claimed that he found his girlfriend's lack of drinking boring, and even hinted at a split to Jacqui - implying to her that no one knows what the future holds, when she vented her frustration about him not being single.
Not what it seems: According to The Sun, many of the texts were too explicit to print, but one saw him admit he 'can't wait to get home' from the 'boring' trip with his girlfriend
Pete and Jacqui had enjoyed a two-month long fling last year prior to meeting Megan, after following each other on Twitter.
Megan has since posted a heart-wrenching video on Snapchat in which she revealed the situation was 'f***ing hurtful and heartbreaking.'
She said tearfully to the camera: 'I actually found some messages on Pete’s phone a few weeks ago and they weren’t good but I thought I’d give him another chance, as I feel like everyone deserves a second chance.
It's over: Megan has since posted a heart-wrenching video on Snapchat in which she revealed the situation was 'f***ing hurtful and heartbreaking'
'The way that he was speaking to me was that he was really sorry and didn’t mean it. Obviously it’s not right that he was messaging other girls but he told me it was just innocent flirting.'
While she convincingly explained her early knowledge, the stunning star appeared bereft over the story unearthed by The Sun: 'I did know about some messages that were going about and obviously that’s hurt a lot.
'That a boy that I thought loved me and I loved could be with me and doing that at the same time.'
Megan has since deleted all traces of Pete on her social media pages.
The Only Way Is Marbs continues on ITVBe on Wednesday at 10pm.
Moving on: Megan has since deleted all traces of Pete on her social media pages
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