Francine: “I don’t know how Jordan will cope without her mum – she’s her rock”
● Jordan’s old pal, Francine Lewis, speaks out about the star’s special bond with mum Amy ● She doesn’t believe Jordan can be happy with any man except Peter Andre
They struck up a close friendship 20 years ago through the glamour modelling world. Now, presenter and impressionist Francine Lewis, 42, admits she’s devastated that her old friend Jordan, 40, real name Katie Price, has reached breakdown point and is facing losing her “rock” – mum Amy.
In September last year, Amy, 64, opened up about her idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis on Loose Women and told the panel that the terminal lung condition – which causes scarring to the lungs and reduces the sufferer’s ability to breathe – means she could only have three years left to live.
And Francine, who says she spent a lot of time at Amy’s house in Brighton in the late ’90s, believes the star’s out-of-control behaviour is partly a reaction to her mum’s diagnosis. She says, “I can’t imagine what Katie is going through right now. And when she loses her mum, I just don’t know how she will cope – it’s quite scary.
“Amy is Katie’s rock. They had such a special bond, and I don’t think Katie listened to anyone apart from her mum. Katie has the kind of personality you can’t control, and Amy is such a good mum because she lets Katie be who she needs to be.”
Francine also explains that Amy has been vital in helping out with childcare over the years – particularly with 16-year-old Harvey, who suffers impaired vision and is on the
autism spectrum. Francine says, “Katie couldn’t have continued to have a great career without Amy – how could she have worked?”
And Francine says Amy will be worrying about how her daughter would cope if anything should happen to her, adding, “She always said, ‘If I die, I want to know you’re settled and happy’. I think it’s quite sad that she doesn’t feel that way.”
Francine explains that she was there when Jordan went on her first date with singer Dane Bowers in 1998; the star was famously heartbroken when the relationship ended 18 months later. Jordan then fell pregnant with Harvey after a fling with footballer Dwight Yorke, and gave birth in 2002. She later admitted to taking singer Gareth Gate’s virginity while she was pregnant, and Francine – who says she was “shocked” when she heard – was the first person Jordan told.
But throughout Jordan’s roller-coaster love life, Francine maintains that meeting Peter Andre was the best thing that could have happened to her friend. She says, “Pete was a genuine person and I think it’s sad she lost him because he’s the nicest man anyone could ever meet. He really cared.”
HER OTHER MEN
But Francine claims that after Jordan left I’m A Celeb! in 2004, fame changed her. She says, “I think it all went to her head; she became a power couple with Pete. She wasn’t the same Katie, I couldn’t get hold of her and, to be honest, I stopped trying. I felt she didn’t make any effort and we just grew apart.”
Still, Francine says she was sad that Jordan and Pete split in 2009, adding, “I don’t feel Katie has been happy since she broke up with Pete. I don’t know if she’ll ever be happy with anyone else.”
And as all her subsequent relationships seemed to have ended in disaster, Francine says she doesn’t understand Jordan’s choice in men. She says, “Alex Reid is good-looking and a nice guy, but I never got the Kieran thing – he cheated and probably made her feel worthless. I can’t help worrying they’re dating her because of her name.”
Now, Francine says she hopes Katie forgets about dating the wrong men and focuses on her children as she gets through this difficult period. She says, “She needs to remember that no one comes before your children. She’s still young and has got her whole life ahead of her. My advice would be to get the help she needs and to take a step back from the limelight. Just focus on your children, keep your friends close, and enjoy the time you’ve got left with your mum.”
And the star would love to reconnect with her old pal, adding, “If she ever texted me or called, I’d be there for her because that’s what a genuine friend would do.”
The pair met through glamour modelling
Jordan at Francine’s wedding in 2005
Jordan’s mum has been diagnosed with a terminal lung condition
The pair partied together before drifting apart
She was there for Jordan when she gave birth to Harvey