The Scottish Mail on Sunday

I cried every day for a year after I’d moved in with Rio

Reality star who married grieving footballer reveals:

- By Michael Powell

THE reality TV star who fell in love with widowed footballer Rio Ferdinand today tells of her struggle to become the ‘perfect wife’ and care for his three children.

In a frank and moving interview with You magazine, Kate Ferdinand admits she ‘cried every single day for a year’ after moving in with the former England defender in 2017, two years after the death of his wife Rebecca.

She speaks of her distress of feeling out of place in her new house and that she finally crumbled when her favourite bathroom soap – one of the few things that made her feel at home – was removed.

‘Nothing in the house was mine; everyone called it “Rio’s house,”’ the 28-year-old recalls. ‘All the photograph­s were of Rebecca and the children. I had no place. I remember after six months becoming obsessed with wanting Molton Brown Rhubarb & Rose soap that I always have at home, just to have a smell I knew. I bought a bottle and put it downstairs but it got taken away. As stupid as it sounds, that crushed me, but what was making me feel more isolated was if I said those things out loud people would think I was pathetic and selfish.’

Kate and Rio, who married last September, admit it was a battle for her to be accepted as a stepmother to his children Lorenz, 13, Tate, 11, and Tia, eight.

‘I kept getting things wrong, like forgetting to put a gym kit in a school bag or missing an email from one of the kids’ teachers,’ says Kate, who gave up her job in an unsuccessf­ul bid to ease the transition. ‘And I would get into a total state because I felt I was messing up in front of so many people who didn’t want me there.’

As she struggled to win acceptance from Rio’s father, Julian, and even his household staff, Kate – who previously starred in The Only Way Is Essex under her maiden name of Wright – fled back to her old flat. ‘I lost myself,’ she says.

‘I felt as though I was acting all the time, trying to smile and learn to cook and be this perfect woman.. When I’d cook something, someone would say, “Rebecca didn’t do it like that,” and I’d smile but inside I’d feel crushed.’

The couple say making the documentar­y Rio And Kate: Becoming A Step Family, which will be broadcast on BBC1 tomorrow at 9pm, became a ‘relationsh­ip saver’.

‘I remember her trying to talk to me but I was never really listening to her,’ says Rio, 41.

‘I’d be thinking, “What are you going on about? I have three kids who have lost their mother and grandmothe­r.”

‘I wanted her there but I couldn’t see how difficult it was for her because I was so locked into my own grief.’

 ??  ?? STRUGGLES: Kate and Rio pictured for You magazine and, left, Rio with his late wife Rebecca
STRUGGLES: Kate and Rio pictured for You magazine and, left, Rio with his late wife Rebecca

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