FORMER Liberty X singer Michelle Heaton has gone into rehab as she fights a booze battle brought on by a string of severe medical issues.
Michelle, 41, is said to have struggled with the effects of a hysterectomy in 2012 and a double mastectomy in 2015 which she had to cut her high risk of cancer.
An early menopause before the isolation of lockdown then hit the married mum of two hard, and she began rehab treatment yesterday.
An insider said: “She realised she needed to get help when she’d increasingly turned to alcohol as a crutch as she couldn’t cope with the effects of her operations.
“Michelle was left feeling like she had lost so much of what made her a woman and when she went into early menopause that brought with it a whole other collection of problems.
“She was just about coping when lockdown hit last year, but the effect of being at home and being unable to distract herself, saw her hit rock bottom.”
Michelle was also deeply affected by the shock death of her friend Nikki Grahame this month.
In a tribute post online to the former Big Brother star she said: “I was scared to see you . . . to say anything that may be a trigger to lose you . . . I was a coward and I’m so sorry.”
Michelle has often appeared on TV to discuss her mutated BRCA2 gene, which meant she had an 80 per cent chance of developing breast cancer, as well as a 30 per cent chance of getting ovarian cancer.
Michelle is married to Irish businessman Hugh Hanley and they have a daughter Faith, nine, and son AJ, seven.
She has also spoken of how an early menopause — brought on by the hysterectomy — put a strain on her marriage, particularly as she had few female friends who were going through the same changes.
She added: “With us being so young and going through it and with the kids being so young as well, I don’t have that group of women around me who are going through it at the same time. So, it’s really hard.”
Hugh said at the time: “Michelle really struggles to get hold of herself. She’s lost a bit of herself.”
She shot to fame on ITV talent show Popstars in 2001 and went on to join the chart-topping group Liberty X, who split in 2007.
She also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother and The Real Full Monty.
A spokeswoman for Michelle confirmed that she had entered a rehab facility, adding: “She has the love and support of her family and friends.”
NHS guidelines on drinking alcohol
According to the NHS, regularly drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week risks damaging your health.
To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level if you drink most weeks:
- men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis
- spread your drinking over 3 or more days if you regularly drink as much as 14 units a week
- if you want to cut down, try to have several drink-free days each week
If you're pregnant or think you could become pregnant, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all to keep risks to your baby to a minimum.
You read more on the NHS website.
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