‘I’ve been put in a box for being a woman:’ Kerry Katona says Ant McPartlin’s addiction struggles have been ‘forgotten about’ unlike her own
Kerry Katona has claimed there is a double standard in the entertainment industry, suggesting she has been treated differently to Ant McPartlin.
The reality TV star, 42, has been open about her drug addiction and mental health battles in the past, but says she has been unable to move on from her past struggles.
Speaking to Greatest Hits Radio host Jackie Brambles to promote her new memoir, Kerry said that her upbringing on a council estate and the fact that she is a woman and a mother has tainted her post-addiction image.
Speaking out: Kerry Katona has claimed there is a double standard in the entertainment industry, suggesting she has been treated differently to Ant McPartlin
‘You put yourself in a bracket and a box. Because I’m from a council estate and a certain kind of upbringing you are judged massively different, and the fact I’m a woman and a mother,’ she explained.
She went on to compare herself to Ant McPartlin, who in 2017 and 2018 spent time in rehab after depression led to an addiction to prescription drugs along with alcohol and substance abuse problems.
Months after his second rehab stint Ant returned to work presenting his hit ITV show Britain’s Got Talent.
‘I applaud Ant McPartlin’s recovery… Ant had his own issues, when he crashed his car [in 2018] it was a big, big story yet eight months later he’s winning awards and it’s all forgotten about’.
Popular: In 2017 and 2018 ITV star Ant spent time in rehab after depression led to an addiction to prescription drugs along with alcohol and substance abuse problems
‘How many years later and we’re still talking about it with me because I’m a woman and because I’m a mother and because I didn’t go to Sylvia Young Theatre School, you are put in a box.
‘I feel like I’ve been a beacon for a lot of people in the industry, I’ve got the beating for a lot of people but that is how women in this industry get treated.’
The Atomic Kitten star has been very open with her past problems with drug use in the past, with Kerry being clean for over 10 years.
Still talked about: In 2008 Kerry made a troubling appearance on This Morning, slurring her way through an interview which led to much concern for her well-being
Opening up about her past substance abuse in 2019, she told The Mirror: ‘It wasn’t so much that I was an addict, more that I binged. It got to the point I was so lonely, so empty. Cocaine was my best friend. It was always there for me when I was down.
‘When I was feeling worthless it gave me that self love and confidence. But it turned out to be a liar.
‘I’m not tempted to go down that route any more. I don’t even drink at home – I’ve got to do the school run.’
In 2008 she made a troubling appearance on This Morning, slurring her way through an interview which led to much concern for her well-being.
It was eventually revealed that she was suffering side-effects of her bipolar medicine, and that she was battling an addiction to drugs – despite her insisting during the live interview that she was ‘absolutely fine’.
Speaking out on the incident to raise awareness on World Bipolar Day earlier this year, the singer said ‘it was my bipolar medication but people just assumed I was off my head on drink or drugs.’
Honest: ‘Because I’m a woman and because I’m a mother and because I didn’t go to Sylvia Young Theatre School, you are put in a box,’ Kerry said
‘Even after I explained I had an illness nobody thought to ask me about it or about the medication I was on which was making me that way.
‘I did not have a clue what bipolar was. I thought I was going mad.’
Revealing her battle with mental ill health to Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster, Kerry, 41, said she was now living medication free but still suffers manic episodes which can last for weeks.
She told how she was prescribed antidepressants at the age of 17 and was taking illicit drugs as well during her time with Atomic Kitten.
‘From the age of 17, I was put on many antidepressants, especially from the time of joining Atomic Kitten,’ she said.
‘And I was doing drugs as everybody knows, and I went into the Priory and my doctor, my psychiatrist, diagnosed me with bipolar and it turned out to be quite a common thing with a lot of people with mental health [issues], people who turned to drugs.
Fame game: Kerry rose to fame as a member of pop group Atomic Kitten alongside Natasha Hamilton (right) and Liz McClarnon (centre) (Atomic Kitten pictured in 1999)
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