Katie Waissel: “I jump into relationships too quickly – it leaves me vulnerable”
Following two divorces and her recent split from the father of her three-month-old son, Hudson, former X Factor and CBB star Katie Waissel, 32, opens up to Closer’s Emma Kenny about depression, motherhood and love
Katie, so much has happened to you in the past few years. Let’s start with the breakdown of your marriages… [After moving to America in 2011, Katie divorced her first husband, model Brad Alphonso, in 2012 following domestic violence claims. She then divorced radio host Brian Moote in 2016 after a year of marriage]. My relationship with Brad got very messy, very quickly and I think if I hadn’t left, my dad would have come and dragged me home. It took me a long time to heal, but I thought I’d found The One when I met Brian. But with him, the relationship was breaking down before I went on Big Brother [in 2016] and when I got back home to Atlanta, I felt I had no choice but to leave – we weren’t in a healthy cycle. I drove to New York, hoping he’d come after me like in a fairy tale – but he didn’t and then I found out he was with our neighbour. How did you cope? I moved in with my best friend. It was really hard – I thought I was going to be with Brian forever. I started drinking and I was depressed. Then one day I looked in the mirror and didn’t look like myself, and from that moment I decided to change my life. I stopped drinking, ate healthily, practised mindfulness and qualified as a personal trainer. How did that lead you to meeting Hudson’s dad [personal trainer Andy Speer]? I met him through work – we started dating and it was brilliant. I can jump in quickly with relationships, so I remember telling myself, ‘Be chilled, we’ve already had the marriages’. It takes a long time to trust people these days. That’s completely understandable. Tell me about finding out you were pregnant? We’d been dating for about a year; I told Andy and he cried and said, “You’re the one I’m spending the rest of my life with, let’s do this”. I was so excited. When did things start to go wrong? We moved in together and it was like real life hit for the first time – before then, our relationship had been carefree. As time went on, reality kicked in and I don’t think Andy was ready. We were in a highly-strung environment and I had a lot of pregnancy hormones, so we did row. Then, one day, I was on our ipad and saw he’d been looking at studio apartments. I was six months’ pregnant and suddenly realised I was disposable to him. I was devastated. How was the rest of the pregnancy? He left me three times during the last three months, and at seven months’ pregnant I was rushed to hospital as I was having contractions. He swore he’d stay then, but the trust went and every time he was moody, I’d worry. It was devastating and I was worried for my health with that level of stress. I considered coming back to England, but I didn’t want the embarrassment of another failed relationship. I moved into a flat on my own and built the nursery myself. Andy was there for the birth and moved back in for two weeks. Then my mum came to stay and Andy said he was going again. How are things between you now? He pays child support and visits. When I see him, we look at each other and smile. Sometimes I wonder if it’s not totally over between us, but sadly the trust has gone. You’re obviously a very spontaneous person, which can leave you open to hurt. How do you feel when you look back at your relationships? I’ll always be impulsive and I take risks, but I know that leaves me vulnerable. Looking back at my life, I think, “Wow, I can’t believe that happened”. But I’ve suffered with depression before and I know if I dwelt on things I would be in a very dark place now. Motherhood is a whole new world, it’s indescribable and Hudson has changed my life. Of course I’d rather be living as a family, but if Hudson’s dad doesn’t want to, I can’t do anything about it. I’m now a single mum doing the best I can. What’s next for you? Would you like to meet someone new? I’m thinking about moving back to England because I love being around my family. In terms of a relationship, I say no, but we all know me! I’m like Elizabeth Taylor! Definitely not any time soon, it would have to be someone very special to make me consider it.