: Gareth Cliff, Dave Thompson and Randall Abrahams with Mara Louw in front. Picture: Supplied

Media personality Gareth Cliff was lambasted on social media after it emerged that he gave fellow Idols SA judge Mara Louw a drink spiked with alcohol, which led to her swearing on live television.

The DJ and president of online radio station Cliff Central wrote in his new book Cliffhanger, which is due to be released this week, that he poured the drink of vodka for Louw.

Her contract as a judge for the popular singing contest was not renewed after she consumed the drink, became visibly emotional during that night's show and began slurring her words and uttering profanities.

READ: The worst thing to say on TV? T*ts, says Gareth

In his book, Cliff wrote that on that night a crew member brought a bottle of vodka for a pre-show celebratory drink and that he passed Louw the drink.

It’s not common practice to have a drink on set, but that evening one of the crew brought a bottle of vodka for a pre-show celebratory drink. I passed Mara her drink and all was well until halfway through the show when she became a touch emotional, or maybe delirious, he wrote.

He told the Sunday Times that he drove home that night and that he cared about her.

Nobody tells that story. I loved her, she was like our mama on the show and she’d tell the most hysterical stories. She was great and then she spun out that one night and now it’s everybody else’s fault he was quoted as saying.

I had no beef with her up to the very end, I was one of the people who still called her after the show ended.

But many people on social media criticised him for the ordeal, with #GarethCliff trending most of yesterday.