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Friday, May 20, 2022

Katie Price: ‘People get MBEs who’ve done less than me’ | Life and style

My earliest memory is my dad buying me a pair of royal-blue high heels. I was seven. Before that I’d shoved tissues in Mum’s instead. I was obsessed with the noise they made when you walked in them. I’m not into fashion – I wear what I like – but I love that powerful sound.

Mum must have had a lot of gas and air during my birth, with the number of names she gave me. Katrina Amy Alexandra Alexis Infield? It’s a lot. I hated them so, at 17, I changed it. Katie Price suited me better, thanks very much.

I’m a nurturing person by nature. Animals were everything through my childhood. I was happiest riding horses and chopping their carrots. It’s why I’ve had so many kids.

I couldn’t believe it when I was on Page 3 for the first time. It was 1996 and Demi Moore had starred in a film called Striptease. For a week I was in the paper taking off an item of clothing every day. I went out and bought every copy I could find.

I was attacked at gunpoint in South Africa in 2018. I was in the car with my kids when six men attempted a carjacking and pulled us to the side of the road. I was assaulted, my friend was knocked out. There was so much blood. I was waiting to be shot, trying to protect my children.

Everyone would benefit from therapy. I started recently and will continue for the rest of my life. When you’re in the Priory and hear other people’s stories, it’s easy to think, “God, are you only here for that? You’d never cope with my life.” I’m learning you can’t have that attitude. Trauma affects people differently.

It’s taking some adjustment, not having my son Harvey at home with me. His complex needs mean looking after him is full on. It’s a relief to not have the house totally destroyed every day, but it’s hard adjusting. I expect to hear his shouts and banging; to have our cuddles and kisses. It’s left a void in my life. I miss him, but you adapt.

People in the public eye who have children with complex needs are starting to be more open. It wasn’t like that before. People didn’t like to admit it, as if they were ashamed. But I’ve always been so proud of Harvey. He’s not an embarrassment. He has plenty of qualities other people don’t. It’s as simple as that.

I ran for parliament in 2001. The Daily Star made me. They were mocking me. Now I’m in the Houses of Parliament campaigning for better laws and opening up people’s eyes to life for people with disabilities. Honestly, I see others getting MBEs who’ve done less than me, and I think: why not me?

I love what I do. The reality shows and photoshoots… I don’t know any different. I’ve done it since I was 17. But I’ve become fair game in the press and people don’t realise how mentally damaging it can be. I feel suffocated and isolated, and don’t know where to turn for help. It’s making me paranoid. But it’s not just that I enjoy the job – I couldn’t walk away at this point even if I tried.

A controversial woman in power who lived and breathed what she believed – that’s how I’d like to be remembered. That no matter what, I’d do what I wanted to, and defied the odds.

Katie Price: What Harvey Did Next is available to watch on BBC iPlayer

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