Abuse over bit­ter split led Paula to over­dose


CHARLES Bron­son’s wife Paula Wil­liamson tried to kill her­self af­ter re­ceiv­ing abuse over her split from the con­vict, we can re­veal.

Now in re­cov­ery, Paula told the Daily Star Sun­day she necked dozens of pills, washed down with nearly two bot­tles of wine in a des­per­ate at­tempt to block out the pain af­ter months of vile mes­sages.

The for­mer Corona­tion Street star, 38, has checked in to the £300-a-night Clouds House re­hab fa­cil­ity in Sal­is­bury, Wilts.

Paula said that her over­dose at­tempt two weeks ago, which is the third time she has tried to com­mit sui­cide, was the wake-up call she needed to get help.

Speak­ing ex­clu­sively to this pa­per from the fa­cil­ity, she said: “I re­ally hit rock bot­tom. I re­mem­ber be­ing at home and think­ing, ‘what’s the point car­ry­ing on’.

“I was get­ting so much abuse over Char­lie that I couldn’t cope. Aw­ful nasty mes­sages from peo­ple who don’t know me, which I didn’t de­serve.

“Plus I was re­ally hurt­ing from be­ing dumped the way I was and watch­ing Char­lie move on so eas­ily. I just needed to es­cape.

“I took a bunch of pills and drank a lot of wine. It’s all very blurry now, but I didn’t care if I didn’t come back.”

Paula passed out, but thank­fully came around on her liv­ing room floor sev­eral hours later.

The ac­tress, who suf­fers from de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety and border­line per­son­al­ity dis­or­der, thinks her 10-year drink and drug ad­dic­tion, plus the fact that she has been tak­ing so many pills for the last decade, saved her life.

Paula, who mar­ried Bron­son, last Novem­ber, added: “I sup­pose in some strange way I have my ad­dic­tion to thank for the fact I sur­vived.

“I’ve been tak­ing so many pills for so long that I’ve built up a tol­er­ance. If it had been any­one else they prob­a­bly wouldn’t have made it.

“It was a wake-up call. I knew I needed to do some­thing be­cause the next time it will be one pill too many.

“Char­lie once said if I didn’t get help I’d be dead by 40 and he’s right. I can’t carry on the way I have been do­ing.”

Paula, who is on a six-week detox pro­gramme, said she has been tak­ing six dif­fer­ent pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions ev­ery day for years, in­clud­ing di­azepam, xanax, mir­taza­p­ine and tra­madol.

She first re­vealed her bat­tle with drink and drugs on ITV’s Loose

Women in July af­ter Bron­son said he was di­vorc­ing her. The news came af­ter pic­tures emerged of Paula on hol­i­day in Tener­ife, with men plac­ing their heads in her chest and also al­legedly kiss­ing her.

Paula mar­ried the 65-year-old lag at HMP Wake­field, west Yorks – where he was serv­ing an in­def­i­nite sen­tence – with just a hand­ful of friends as wit­nesses.

The no­to­ri­ous pris­oner, who has been in and out of jail since 1974, is now in a close su­per­vi­sion cen­tre cell at HMP Fran­k­land in County Durham.

Dur­ing their brief mar­riage Paula fought tire­lessly to get Bron­son, be­low, re­leased.

Now, she says she feels used. Paula said: “I loved Char­lie and I would have done, and did, any­thing for him.

“I think he did love me in a way, but I also think I was a very use­ful per­son for him on the out­side. I was more like his per­sonal sec­re­tary than a wife.

“De­spite that, I don’t re­gret mar­ry­ing him and I wish him well.

“But now I must fo­cus on get­ting my­self bet­ter.”

■ON THE MEND: Paula checked in to Clouds House fa­cil­ity

■ NO­TO­RI­OUS: Bron­son wed Paula at HMP Wake­field

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