Corrie saved my life
DRINK IS A CRUTCH, ADMITS TV STAR
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