She’s long been known for giving it to us warts and all – but now Kerry Katona has bared her soul like never before in her most revealing and explosive interview yet.
The former Atomic Kitten star, 42, has sensationally opened up about the abuse she suffered at the hands of ex George Kay and how his behaviour made her fear for her family’s safety.
And she has told of how she suffered a harrowing miscarriage after a fling with a mystery man, had a secret tummy tuck she regrets and how she fears she and fiancé Ryan Maloney may be unable to have children .
Speaking ahead of the launch of her third autobiography, Kerry Katona: Whole Again , our columnist tells us it has been “traumatic to re-live” the previously untold stories.
“It’s been really hard, my anxiety has been through the roof,” she tells us. “I’ve been stuck in the past, feeling full of anxiety and fear.”
One of the subjects that causes her the greatest anxiety is her marriage to George, the father of her youngest daughter Dylan-Jorge, eight.
Kerry’s book details her suffering at the hands of her ex, who died in 2019 at the age of 39 following a drug overdose.
Kerry, who married George in 2014, recalls how he would spit on her, strangle her and hit her while she was pregnant with Dylan-Jorge – and then tell her
it was her fault.
“George has such a hold on me, even in death,” she says, with a look of sadness. “I still feel scared he’s going to get me. He was so manipulative and calculated. I’m also very aware George is dead and he isn’t here to voice his side of the story. But this is all fact – and it’s my truth.
“He was so vile to me. I’m telling you now, if George was still alive and I’d have stayed with him, I’d be dead. I would not be here today. My mum, Sue, always used to say she was waiting for the police to knock on the door to say he had killed me.
“I once took pictures of my bruised and battered body and sent them to my mum and manager. I said, ‘If something happens to me, I haven’t done this to myself. Please know it was George.’”
Kerry eventually took out a restraining order on George – an action she says “wasn’t taken lightly” – because she believed her family could be in danger.
“We were on FaceTime and DJ wouldn’t speak to him, she was only three at the time, and you know what kids are like,” she explains. “He was threatening us both and then he said to me, ‘How’s your mum, Kerry? Is she alright?’ before winking and ending the call.
“It really scared me. Before that, he had threatened to rape my mum and slash her up in front of me. So I didn’t know what he was going to do next. I was terrified he was going to hurt her or DJ.”
Kerry also reveals in the book that her “worst instincts were confirmed” after George died.
“One of his friends came round and told me I’d done the right thing in keeping him away from DJ,” she writes.
“Apparently, he’d planned on injecting her with heroin and then killing himself.”
She says now, “I still stand by my decision to stop him from seeing DJ and I know I made the right decision. I would stand on his grave and say it.
“But the sad thing is, I don’t even know where he’s buried. If I knew where his grave was, I would 100% take DJ to visit him. I could cry just at the thought of DJ stood at his grave.
“His family didn’t even give me any of his ashes for DJ. I asked them so many times and I just never heard from them. I will never forgive them for that. I think it’s cruel – she was his baby and she doesn’t deserve to be treated like that.”
Kerry – who is also mum to Molly, 21, and Lilly, 19, who she shares with Brian McFadden, and Heidi, 15, and Max, 14, from her marriage to Mark Croft – says she doesn’t want DJ to grow up and think her dad didn’t love her, but it’s important that she knows the facts.
“The only thing I can do is be open and honest with DJ,” she says. “I’ve sat down with her and spoken to her about her daddy. DJ knows I was the one who stopped her dad from seeing her. I’ll always make that clear. That was my decision, that wasn’t her dad’s decision.
“I do have that sense of guilt. Especially when I was in Ireland recently, watching Brian dancing with Molly on her 21st birthday. I felt so sad DJ will never get to dance with her dad.”
In another shock revelation, Kerry admits she had a rebound fling with a mystery man after her split from George – and got pregnant within two weeks.
“I was careful, I was on the pill – I even took several morning-after pills. I felt so bewildered and suddenly quite desperate,” she writes in her book.
Kerry admits she couldn’t go through with an abortion but ended up having a miscarriage.
“I stayed in hospital for a couple of days until eventually there was no heartbeat any more,” she said. “But the baby was still in my belly. The doctor said the dead foetus could stay in the womb up to three months before it would fall out naturally. Or I could have it removed before it got to that stage.”
She adds, “Essentially, I was on the verge of miscarrying, as that child had not survived. But I suppose technically, in the end, I did have a termination, as she was removed by a kind doctor.”
And now, years later, Kerry admits she has lot of guilt about her feelings towards her unborn child. “I’ve never spoken about it because it makes me feel ashamed,” she tells us. “I feel nothing but shame because I never connected with that baby. We went for scans and we found out it was a girl but I just knew it wasn’t right. I felt so disgusted in myself as I’m such a maternal person and I didn’t feel bad. But I didn’t want it.”
Kerry says the ordeal has put her off getting pregnant again – but she and fiancé Ryan, 34, are considering having their first child via surrogate.
“I’m not ruling out having more children,” she says. “I definitely wouldn’t carry one but I’d definitely have a surrogate. In fact, I have a meeting soon to speak about my eggs. I want to freeze them. Nothing is set in stone. Ryan has to get his sperm checked and I have to see if I have enough eggs.”
However, Kerry fears they might not be able to conceive. She tells us, “I haven’t fallen pregnant in four-and-a-half years with Ryan, so it will be interesting to see what happens after our meeting. I’ve always been fertile but I’m getting older now. We’re not putting any pressure on it. If it’s meant to be, it will be.”
Elsewhere in her memoir, Kerry reveals she had a secret tummy tuck last year. “It’s the worst thing I ever did,” she tells us. “It’s my own fault. It wasn’t a botched job or anything like that. I didn’t let my body recover and rather than resting, I moved house.
“My whole body is swollen and full of lumps, so I’m having corrective surgery next year.
“I’m also thinking about getting an eye lift. I don’t see the problem in chasing your youth and trying to look your best.”
Kerry also discusses her feelings towards former Westlife singer Brian, 42, as she opens up about her ex’s relationship with Molly and Lilly. She writes, “I know for a fact that they wish they were closer to their dad but at this stage in their lives I’m not sure it’s going to happen.
“Especially as Brian now has a baby daughter, Ruby, with his partner Danielle Parkinson, who I should point out is one of the loveliest women in the world.”
Kerry tells us, "The older the girls have got, the more of a relationship they’ve had with Brian. That’s not me slagging him off, he’ll admit that himself. He’s a better dad now to Ruby and I think that hurts the girls. We all change. He’s older, with more patience, and I feel he is doing it better this time around – which is great. But that doesn’t stop the hurt my girls feel because of that.”
And when it comes to her feelings towards her former bandmates Natasha Hamilton, 40, and Liz McClarnon, 41, Kerry insists there is no bad blood on her side. But she reveals that she and Tash got into a fight in Australia, after she was accused of tipping off photographers.
Telling us she hasn’t heard from them since, Kerry adds, “It’s a huge shame. But with my hand on my heart, I can say that I wish those girls nothing but love, happiness and success.”
Kerry has certainly been through her fair share of tiffs, trauma and heartache, but it has made her the person she is – and she insists she has no regrets.
“I finally feel like I’m in a really good place,” she says, with a sigh of relief. “I feel content and I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I hope this book shows people you can overcome anything.”
Kerry Katona: Whole Again (Mirror Books) is available from 13 October.
If you are affected by any of the issues Kerry discusses here, support is available for domestic abuse at womensaid.org.uk, baby loss at tommys.org, drugs at talktofrank.com and mental health issues at mind.org.uk
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