Celebrity Big Brother star Rhian Sugden's 'secret ex boyfriend revealed as a convicted killer' Kevin O'Dea was jailed for seven years for his part in a revenge attack which left a student dead
Pair met at a club last year after O'Dea was released halfway through his sentence
Rhian has denied the pair are currently an item
13:59 GMT, 1 October 2012
Glamour model and former CBB star Rhian Sugden's 'secret ex boyfriend' has been revealed as a convicted killer.
Friends of the 26-year-old say she was dating former model Kevin O'Dea, who was jailed for seven years for his part in a revenge attack which left a student dead in Liverpool, for months.
Rhian, who became famous after 'sexting' married TV star Vernon Kaye, is said to have been desperate to keep her boyfriend's identity a secret – even 'banning him' from her eviction from the CBB house.
'Secret love': Rhian is said to be desperate to keep her ex boyfriend's identity a secret as it emerged he is a convicted killer
Irish O'Dea was jailed for seven years in 2008 after being found guilty of attacking 24-year-old Sion Hardy in 2007.
Former model O'Dea met Rhian in a Manchester club after being released last year – before her stint in Celebrity Big Brother.
And sources claimed in The Daily Star that there could be no way she didn't know about O'Dea's time in jail.
The friend said: 'Kevin has been flaunting the fact he is seeing Rhian and he has posted pictures of them together on Facebook.
The model and the lag: While Rhian Sugden is more used to posing for paparazzi her ex boyfriend, convicted killer Kevin O'Dea, is more comfortable in custody shots
'He is very open about his conviction for manslaughter and everyone who knows him knows about it. So I’m sure Rhian does too.'
Critics of Rhian had said her former boyfriend failed to turn up to her CBB after her incessant flirting with Olympian Ashley McKenzie.
But friends of the couple said it was because Rhian was determined to keep their relationship a secret from the public.
O'Dea, now a personal trainer, is known for being a 'ladies man' pals said.
Fake smile The blonde was grinning as she left the house but looked uneasy as a member of staff led her to the interview
One university classmate added: 'He’s good-looking and very charming and girls also fell for his Irish accent.
O’Dea, who was 22 and a sports science student, was found guilty of manslaughter at Liverpool Crown Court in May 2008.
His victim, Hardy, from Bangor, Gwynedd was described as a 'special, unique and happy person' by his family.
During the court case a jury heard Hardy had been out at Nation nightclub in Liverpool with friends and was later attacked, he died after receiving a blow to the neck.
Famous pals: Rhian Sugden doesn't mind posing up with celebrity friends but kept her relationship with convicted killer quiet
During the case it emerged Hardy's friend Stephen Lunne was the target of the attack after an earlier incident in the club.
Hardy ran into Lunne outside and as the pair walked through a nearby underpass, O'Dea and his gang pounced.
The Liverpool University student suffered a brain hemorrhage and was pronounced dead at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.
After the attack, O’Dea and his pals were seen 'celebrating'.
O’Dea always claimed he was acting in self-defence but a jury dismissed his account.
Rhian declined to comment after being contacted by the MailOnline but tweeted yesterday that: 'The guy I WAS seeing is not a killer… And I'm actually single now.'
It is not clear when the pair separated.