Cor­rie saved my life

DRINK IS A CRUTCH, AD­MITS TV STAR

Daily Star Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - ■ by ED GLEAVE ed­ward.gleave@dai­lystar.co.uk

CLAIRE KING: IN THER­APY FRI­DAY, 10PM CHAN­NEL 5 TV’S Claire King has told how her mar­riage break­down plunged her into a booze­fu­elled de­pres­sion.

She hit rock bot­tom af­ter find­ing out hus­band Peter Amory had en­joyed a se­cret af­fair with a ri­val ac­tress.

Re­call­ing their break-up in 2004, Claire, 54, said: “We split up due to his infidelity…I sus­pected who it was be­cause it hap­pened in my house, the lo­cal pub, work­place.

“I felt as though it was the end of some­thing but also a fail­ure – and I didn’t want it to be a fail­ure. And it was the loss of a good friend and a fu­ture to­gether. I re­ally didn’t know it would af­fect me that bad.”

At the time Claire was one of the big­gest TV stars in Bri­tain, thanks to roles in Em­merdale and Bad Girls. But af­ter she walked away from both shows, her life spi­ralled out of con­trol.

Speak­ing on TV series In Ther­apy, she said: “Hit­ting 40, hav­ing a di­vorce, not hav­ing chil­dren…

“And I was get­ting deeper in debt to the ex­tent where I sold all my clothes, even col­lec­tors’ items.

“I had no money. I thought ‘God, am I ever go­ing to work again? What am I go­ing to do?’

“I do think I was de­pressed. I was on a very rocky road.”

Trou­bled Claire turned to drink to cope.

She added: “It wasn’t a great time and that’s when I went off the rails, drink­ing too much. I thought I was cop­ing. But it’s the old adage…it doesn’t re­ally help at all. I know I’m not an al­co­holic but I do like a drink.

“I do use it as a crutch and I am aware that it’s re­ally bad for feel­ings and emo­tions when you’re in a bad place.

“I didn’t know if I’d hit rock bot­tom or not.

“It was low enough for me to look around and just think ‘this is not right, I’m not func­tion­ing prop­erly…maybe I’m not work­ing be­cause I’m not giv­ing out the right sig­nals. That’s not me, that’s not Claire, that’s not who I am, that’s not what I’m about’.”

Af­ter strug­gling to get TV work in her 40s, Claire de­cided to take dras­tic ac­tion and have a facelift.

Within a year she landed a role on Corona­tion Street which pulled her back from the brink. Claire said: “It got me loads of work be­cause I just felt bet­ter about my­self and it gave me a lit­tle perk.

“When I got the job on Corona­tion Street it was just the best thing ever, re­ally.

“It got me back on prime time TV and it got me out of that black hole.”

Claire be­came a favourite with Cor­rie fans as Erica Hol­royd but ear­lier this year she quit the show.

She has now beaten her demons but is still in pain over never be­com­ing a mum.

Claire said: “It just never hap­pened. It could have. But I would have been a bit con­niv­ing if I had. Pete al­ready had a son and didn’t par­tic­u­larly want any more.

“I didn’t think I needed to. I didn’t know if that was me be­ing hon­est or me hav­ing one of my re­bel­lious streaks.”

■ OPEN­ING UP: Claire dis­cusses her de­pres­sion on In Ther­apy

BIT­TER END: Claire with ex Peter

FAN FAVOURITE: Claire in Cor­rie

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