Liberty X's Michelle Heaton tells Katie Price 'you saved my life' after drug and alcohol addiction
MICHELLE Heaton has recalled how Katie Price stepped in and ordered her to seek help at The Priory after seeing her drug and alcohol addiction spiral out of control.
The Liberty X singer was just days away from death after going on a three-year cocaine and booze binge when close friend Katie made the call to get her in rehab, which she now credits for saving her life.
The pals were enjoying a catch up at their manager's house, when an alarmed Katie – who has sought help at the clinic herself- spotted something was seriously wrong, so called her husband Hugh and got the ball rolling for rehab.
Remembering the day her life changed forever, Michelle, 41, told us: “I had a really bad weekend so I went to see Kirsty to get away from the house and Kate was always going to see me there. There was no talk about rehab or The Priory or anything, just a catch up and I remember her saying she was going to bring her Priory journal with all the things she had gone through to show me. There wasn’t any premeditated intervention.
“We just spoke and she was going through things she learnt at The Priory. She just after 45 mins, I was shaking and crying and I was relating to things she was saying and she looked the best she had ever looked, very clear, very concise, spoke so highly of The Priory and I remember thinking – and I was intoxicated at this point – ‘I wish I could do that, I wish I could say I need help, I wish I could be strong enough to get help’.”
It was at that point that Katie felt she needed to take matters into her own hands and took Michelles phone off her and rang her husband.
Panicked and confused, Michelle recalled: “I said ‘what are you doing?’. She went ‘everything is fine’, I said ‘what?’. She said ‘right, I’m with Michelle, Michelle can you leave the room’, I was like ‘what?’ and then I started to panic.”
Nearly two hours later Katie returned and told her “right, you are going to The Priory”.
Michelle said: “I think my first instinct was ‘thank god’ . I never said no, I never said I didn’t want to go. Hugh knew I needed it but didn’t know what to do anymore. Since then I know that my friends and family all continually rang Hughie saying they were worried, and had seen changes in my behaviour, erraticness, you name it.”
Breaking down in tears, Michelle revealed how indebted she is to Katie, who sought help herself previously at the clinic. She told us: “I texted Katie while I was in The Priory, ‘You saved my life’. Because The Priory did save my life.
“What I was doing was a suicide mission. I never actually thought, ‘I want to kill myself’, but ultimately I was killing myself.
“I was crying out for help when I couldn’t actually ask for help. But when you’re an addict, it feels like there’s no way out.”
Katie and her friends helped pay for her four week stay at the clinic.
Michelle revealed: “There was a collection of friends who all helped, it wasn’t cheap as you imagine. Katie helped pay, it was a joint effort from my friends who wanted me to live.”
Katie checked into The Priory in 2020 to help after hitting rock bottom and Michelle believes she is now a “different woman”, which played a big part in her decision to get help.
She explained: “I don't see her as the person everyone else sees her as, I know her intimately for over 20 years now. It’s when a friend who has been through the fire and came out the other end, tells me ‘you need this, it’s going to be amazing for you’, you sit up and listen.
“It’s when somebody has been through something and she didn’t do the same programme as me, she was in it for different issues. She knew that The Priory did what it did for her and she’s a different person, so when I see that as a reflection, whether it’s Katie or an ex patient, it’s then you listen, you listen to other people's stories. You listen to the success of other people’s stories.”
Michelle had been downing up to two bottles of wine and a bottle of vodka virtually every day since 2018, and snorting cocaine.
She was staring death in the face but wouldn’t accept it until she went into rehab.
The married mum of two shot to fame on ITV’s Popstars in 2000, leading to the formation of Liberty X a year later. After they split in 2007 she moved into writing and TV work.
A downward spiral set in when she discovered in 2012 that she was a carrier of the mutated BRCA2 gene.
It meant she had an 85 per cent risk of breast cancer and up to a 40 per cent risk of ovarian cancer. So she took the agonising decision to have a double mastectomy in 2012 and a hysterectomy in 2014.
Michelle said: “The hysterectomy plunged me into early menopause. On paper I’m not recognised as a woman, I have no womanly organs.
“Without the HRT I’m just a walking nothing. But I felt I had to live with that pain and suffering myself because I made that choice.
“I wasn’t allowed to cry or grieve or ask for help and I didn’t have therapy.”
It was at this point that Michelle turned to drinks and drugs.
In The Priory she was told that a healthy level of the enzyme GGT in the blood — which indicates how damaged a person’s liver is — was 30 or less. Hers stood at 2,500.
Michelle is now 33 days sober and has vowed to never drink or touch drugs again.
She said: “I’ll never touch drugs or alcohol again because I’ll die.
“I just feel like the most lucky woman in the world because I’m here. I get to tell my story in my words and I’m still alive. I have the most beautiful family and friends.”
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