"Big brother" contestant doesn't know her dad died

Australia ’s reality TV show “Big Brothers” producers said that they have not told a contestant that her father died last week according to her family’s wishes.

Personal trainer Emma Cornell, 24, is competing in program that began a month ago, in which cameras watch contestants kept isolated from events happening outside a purpose-built house on Queensland state's Gold Coast.

Her father, Raymond Cornell, died of cancer at 53 last Wednesday and was buried Monday in the southern city of Adelaide, said a spokesman for the program's producer, Endemol Southern Star.

The spokesman, who declined to be named but gave no reason why, said the family had asked the producers not to tell Cornell about her father's death.

"We're abiding by her family's wishes in not informing her," he said. "It wasn't a difficult decision. We're just respecting their wishes."

However, Australian Center for Grief and Bereavement director Chris Hall said Emma Cornell was entitled to know of her loss.

"To withhold this information is a breach of trust," Hall said. "She should be told as soon as possible in a private and sensitive way, and be given choices how she deals with that information."

The Sydney woman's boyfriend, Tim Stanton, told that city's Daily Telegraph newspaper that Cornell knew her father was gravely ill, but his death would shock her because he was not expected to die so soon.

Big Brother, now in its seventh season, has been dogged by controversy, mostly focused on contestants' unruly or tasteless behavior.