BOOKS – Kerry Katona gets real

KERRY Katona is one of those celebrities who remains famous for being famous.

Loading Comments
Share
Print
Kerry has brought out a new book telling of her second marriage and quitting drugs
Kerry has brought out a new book telling of her second marriage and quitting drugs

The ex-pop star and former winner of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! has been tabloid fodder for more than a decade, her torrid love life, drug abuse, bi-polar, rehab and cosmetic surgery reported in minute detail.

The endless revelations, incessant photo-shoots, reality shows and Iceland ads have kept her in the public eye, although some might say her star has been on the wane for a while.

She's almost running out of reality shows, having done Dancing On Ice, I'm A Celebrity and Celebrity Big Brother, although she'll be appearing in an even weirder programme entitled My Fair Kerry this year, a comedy reality show in which she'll be taking etiquette lessons from music mogul David Gest.

Katona, 32, has also been reunited with Atomic Kitten for a forthcoming show on ITV2, which also features Five, B*witched, 911, The Honeyz and Liberty X, followed by a 14-date arena tour.

"I've always been in touch with Tash (Natasha Hamilton) and Liz (McClarnon). I'm really nervous because it's been like a full circle for me. People forget I started off in a girl band," says the chirpy singer.

On one hand Katona, 32, says she's never happier than being a stay-at-home mum with her four kids, yet a day after our interview, she is pictured in a skimpy mini-dress and mile-high glittery heels posing for the paparazzi at a well-known magazine's party.

She claims, though, that she hasn't always sought the publicity she's received.

"A lot of people think, Kerry Katona, she'll do anything. Most of the stories which contained my addiction, my bankruptcy, the cheating, I didn't want those on the front pages. People thought I was selling my life and that wasn't the case at all."

Despite her claims, she's recently brought out her second autobiography, Still Standing, six years after her first book, Too Much, Too Young, charted her traumatic childhood, and descent into drugs after the break-up of her marriage to Westlife singer Brian McFadden.

The latest instalment reveals her disastrous second marriage to cabbie Mark Croft, her battle to quit drugs and experiences in reality TV.

"I've been clean for three years," she says. "Hopefully, after everything I've been through (which includes bankruptcy and two divorces) it's my time to get everything across."

Cynics may say this book is just another money-spinner, a way to keep the tabloids interested.

In it, she admits that she took cocaine while her daughters Molly and Lilly (by McFadden) were in the house, but kept herself away from the children so they wouldn't see her.

"They didn't have a clue about anything until I did the documentary Kerry Katona: The Next Chapter (about her battle with drugs) and I eventually let them watch the show.

"Cocaine became my best friend. I'm mortified, embarrassed and ashamed," she says now. "I'm not blaming anybody else for what happened. I was too weak to say no."

In 2010, a spell at bootcamp was the catalyst to her ditching drugs for good, she says. "My exercise regime had been a kebab and a line of cocaine. When I went to bootcamp it was the first natural high I'd felt since I was 14. It was like coming out of a coma."

She hasn't been on medication for bi-polar for several years and wonders if she was misdiagnosed.

"The only tablets I take now are headache tablets if I've got a hangover, and that's not very often."

Katona is a survivor, despite her desperately unhappy childhood.

Growing up in Warrington, Cheshire, she provided the emotional prop her alcoholic mother Sue needed following several suicide attempts, and lived in fear of her mother's violent boyfriend.

By the age of 11, Kerry had been to seven different primary schools and at 13 she was taken into care after her mother was knifed by her boyfriend, but decided to stay with him.

They always kept in touch and in the book, Kerry reveals she took drugs with her mum. She was 14 when they first tried speed. "It was what we used to do, it was our thing," Katona said.

Yet her up-and-down relationship with her mother – who has now quit drugs – seems to be at a good point at the moment.

She says: "At the end of the day, she's my mum. Our relationship is much more healthy and adult now."

Katona moved from Warrington to Surrey, near her close pal Peter Andre, and has help from a nanny. Her eldest daughter Molly is at boarding school.

She still talks about how devastated she was when McFadden left her, and says she rushed into her second marriage to cabbie Mark Croft. They have two children, Heidi and Max.

Now she is dating ex-rugby player and personal trainer George Kay.

She recently revealed: "I've known him for 18 years but I literally bumped into him one night and we've been together ever since. He's been in jail for blackmail, which sounds a lot worse than it is, but people have said, 'He's bad news, he's another Mark'. He's nothing like Mark."

She says McFadden – who has remarried and lives in Australia – sees their children Molly and Lilly about once a year, while Croft hasn't seen Heidi and Max since February.

With four children in private school and bills, she can't rely on maintenance payments so it's understandable that she needs to remain in the public eye.

"If there is one thing I have proved to myself, it is that I can bounce back from anything."

l Still Standing by Kerry Katona is published by Orion, priced £18.99. Available now

Block list

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

111943

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
                Games news:                
                               

Putting the world to rights

                               

Gail's Gab

                               

I am convinced Scotland will become independent in five months time.

               
Free swim at a Glasgow Club pool for every reader - Click here

Entertainment

Lifestyle

Wedding
Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat Cubie’s job is to find and share with you the fabulous things the city has to offer, from gigs to gastro.

                Janice Bell                
                               

Janice Bell

                               

You Couldn't Make This Up

                               

Driven round the bend after passing the driving test

               
Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Columnist Michelle McManus is Sussed in the City, and loves to chat about anything and everything.