"She has been given the option to leave at any time if she changes her mind," producers of Britain's Celebrity Big Brother say

By Tim Nudd
Updated January 11, 2016 08:05 AM
Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage

Angie Bowie, the first wife of David Bowie, was initially unaware Monday that the legendary rock star had died, because she has been competing on the reality show Celebrity Big Brother, which forbids contact with the outside world while filming.

The show’s producers told the press that Angie, 66, an American former model, was informed soon as possible.

“Following the very sad news of David Bowie’s death, we can now confirm that Angie Bowie has been informed off camera by her representatives,” Channel 5, the network that airs the show in the U.K., said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

“She has taken the decision to continue in the programme. The decision to remain in the house is entirely her choice, and she has been given the option to leave at any time if she changes her mind. Appropriate support will be available to Angie at any time if needed.”

David Bowie, 69, died Sunday after an 18-month battle with cancer.

Angie went into the Big Brother house last Tuesday, the Guardian reported. On a recent episode of the show, she described her acrimonious split from the rocker in 1980, after 10 years of marriage.

“I go to great lengths to avoid him … It was terrible when we broke up, it was awful,” Angie said, adding that the two hadn’t seen each other since shortly after their breakup.

David and Angie had one child together, Duncan Jones, born in 1971, known as “Zowie” as a child. David was awarded custody of Jones after the divorce. In a 2010 interview, Angie told the Guardian she hadn’t heard from her son in years and thought reconciliation was “unlikely.”

Jones, now a film director, posted a short note Monday on Twitter about his father’s death.

“Very sorry and sad to say it’s true,” he wrote. “I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all.”