DALE LEG­END RE­VEALS My cheat­ing, gam­bling ex hus­band drove me to drink & debt says Claire King

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“I was £9,000 short of pay­ing my mort­gage off and then sud­denly, poof. It was just hor­ri­ble and it was drain­ing.”

They di­vorced af­ter ten years of mar­riage when it emerged Amory had been cheat­ing on her with co-star Samantha Giles, who played Bernice Black­stock.

Claire spoke to ad­dic­tion coun­sel­lor Mandy Sali­gari about the painful split f or Chan­nel 5’ s In Ther­apy, which airs next week.

Ad­mit­ting she felt like a “fail­ure”, she said: “We’d split up due to his in­fi­delity. That and the f act ev­ery bug­ger knew.

“I t hap­pened in my house, t he l o c a l pub, work­place.

“Then they split and we thought we’d work i t out, then they got to­gether again. Six months later... fin­ished. I felt as though it was the end of some some­thing but also a fail­ure. An­dAn I didn’t want it to be a fa fail­ure. “It was a loss as well. It was a failu fail­ure of a mar­riage but th the loss of a good friend friend. I re­ally didn’t know it would af­fect me so b badly.” Claire als also spoke can­didly aboutabo us­ing booze to mask her own money worr wor­ries af­ter strug­gling to find work whe when she quit ITV pris­on­pris drama Bad G Girls. She en­joye en­joyed a string of topt roles sinc since her big bre break in an Ad Adam Ant po pop video ini n 1982, so to be fa fac­ing fin fi­nan­cial ruin as work dried up was tough. She told of: “Hit­ting 40, hav­ing a di­vorce and not hav­ing chil­dren and get­ting deeper into debt. To the point where I sold my wardrobe, dresses, every­thing, even col­lec­tors’ items. I had no money. I thought, ‘God, am I ever go­ing to work again?’

“I think I was de­pressed. I was on a very rocky road at the time. It wasn’t a great time and that’s where I went a bit off the rails, drink­ing too much.


“I thought I was cop­ing but it’s the old adage – it doesn’t 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 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 think, ‘Woah, this is not right, I’m not func­tion­ing prop­erly. Maybe I’m not work­ing be­cause I’m not giv­ing off the right sig­nals.’”

Land­ing the part of Erica Hol­royd in Corona­tion Street et in 2014, af­ter she hadad a facelift, helped ed turn things around.nd.

“It got me out t of that black hole,” e,” said Claire. “My agent at the time me had said, ‘Right, what you need is a facelift.’celift.’ It got me loads of work be­cause I just felt bet­ter about my­self and it gave me a lit­tle e perk up.”

Dur­ing the coun­sellingun­selling ses­sions the ac­tress, who o quit Cor­rie in Au­gust, re­flected ted fur­ther on get­ting older.

She said: “I was as this 25-year-old who did 100 frontnt cov­ers or what­ever. Now I’m a bit in­vis­i­ble re­ally. I’ll be a pen­sionerer in five years.”

And talk­ing of how she never had chil­dren, Claire aire said: “It just never hap­pened. Pete al­ready had a son and didn’t par­tic­u­larly want any more. And I got a ca­reer, I was just start­ing out, then bang, be­fore you knoww it – tick­tock, tick-tock – and that’s

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