Celebrity Big Brother runner-up Jermaine Jackson has denied calling fellow housemate Jade Goody “white trash” – laying the blame squarely at Dirk Benedict’s door.

The singer insisted the comment was made to him by former housemate Dirk during a conversation they shared in the garden, and that he relayed it to Shilpa Shetty.

The C4 show was won by Bollywood star Shetty, who was the target of controversial comments from some of her fellow contestants that led to a worldwide furore.

Speaking at the launch of the Nobull anti-bullying campaign in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, former Jackson Five star Jermaine said he wanted to settle the controversy surrounding the ‘white trash’ comment.

He said: “Let’s clear that up. I want everybody to hear this. I did not call Jade Goody white trash. The white trash statement came from Dirk Benedict. As I was sitting out in the garden with Dirk, he said it and I went back to Shilpa to let her know what was being said about them. I was repeating something to Shilpa to let her know.”

He also said he did not believe the actions of Goody, former S Club 7 singer Jo O’Meara and model Danielle Lloyd towards Shilpa were racially-motivated. Instead he said he thought they were bullies. He said: “They would never have eaten at the same table as me or Shilpa. They would never have sat on the same toilet seat as me or Shilpa or slept in the same room. That’s real racism.”