Now’s Amy Brookbanks meets Professor Green on his anniversary to hear why his marriage is ‘stronger than ever’
It’s been a wild few years for Stephen Manderson, AKA chart-topping rapper Professor Green. There have been No 1 hits, a book and an Insta-perfect life with his wife, ex-Made In Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh. But it hasn’t exactly been plain sailing…
‘F***ing annoying… she’s so f***ing annoying.’ Pro, 31, is talking to Now about Millie. But it’s fine, he’s joking. Honest! Today’s their second wedding anniversary, but instead of spending it with Millie, 26 – who’s at the gym – he’s agreed to sit down for an interview with Now. After greeting us with a hug, we grilled a softly spoken Pro on – you guessed it – his marriage.
And despite everything we know, Pro says we’ve got them all wrong. Whatever has happened in the last two years, today he’s adamant they’re ‘stronger than ever,’ and that despite the drama, their marriage was ‘never at risk’.
Reports they were on the rocks first hit the headlines four months after they married when Millie changed her name on social media from Manderson back to her maiden name. Pro took to Twitter to deny rumours it was over, but as they were reportedly only seen out together twice in six months, the gossip didn’t stop.
Last month, Millie attended a wedding where sources claimed she was upset her husband hadn’t even turned up. And then last week, during what turned out to be the most emotional week of his life promoting his autobiography Lucky, Pro admitted ‘we had marriage counselling’ and a day later broke down on live TV while discussing his dad’s suicide.
But despite all that, the real stinger came the day after, on the morning of their second wedding anniversary, when Pro admitted on Kiss FM he’d forgotten all about it, saying: ‘Oh… it’s actually my second wedding anniversary today. I’ll have to go and buy her a present.’ Finally, he sets the record straight with Now…
Hi Pro! So how are you celebrating your two years of marriage?
We’re going to our favourite Italian restaurant and then we both have work tomorrow. So it won’t be a heavy one, definitely not. I’ve got a cold anyway.
What’s the truth about your marriage – is it really as bad as reports suggest?
I don’t understand what the fascination is with my marriage. People want it to be tormented and dark – they want it to be troubled. Maybe that’s what they have in their lives?
So you haven’t had blazing rows?
No! When we read that story we were in Amalfi, where we went on honeymoon, for Millie’s dad’s 60th. We were being soppy revisiting all the places we’d been on honeymoon and drinking loads of wine and eating loads of pasta – well, you can never eat too much pasta – and we saw Tweets saying: ‘Oh my God please don’t be true!’ and we were like: ‘What’s not true? What the f***?’
So there was no big argument?
If there was, someone would have spoken about it publicly. I know what it’s like – I used to read things and thought it was the truth but it’s not always.
So what really goes on behind closed doors in your marriage?
Box sets! We’re both addicted to box sets. Dog walks. Roast dinners. We both love food and cook a lot. It’s a pretty healthy relationship.
OK, but what about your marriage counselling?
I have therapy for my own wellbeing and Millie sees the same therapist. We’ve sat down together with a therapist, but it’s not for marriage counselling because our marriage was never at risk of being lost. It’s just easier for a therapist to explain to Millie why I’m feeling certain things because I can’t tell her – it gets lost between us because we’re so close to each other. And I don’t want to burden Millie with my problems. I have my therapist explain to her why I get how I get and why I might get down and it makes so much more sense coming from her than from me.
Would you say therapy’s helped your marriage?
Yes. The fact I separate my problems from Millie means it doesn’t get in the way of our relationship. We have a stronger relationship because of it.
Has there ever been a time when you thought your marriage might be over?
No, no, no, no, no. Not at all, never. It wasn’t like… The therapist was never explaining why I argue with Millie or anything like that – it was about my depression and I don’t want to bore Millie with it. She wants to understand. It’s really difficult to say things in the right way that can be understood, but our therapist is f***ing brilliant at it.
Is that Dr Linda Papadopoulos?
Yeah. I would have been much happier with no one knowing, as it made me feel almost embarrassed about going.
You shouldn’t – you’ve made it OK to get help.
Well, exactly. I couldn’t believe the positive feedback. I was overwhelmed. There were so many backhanded compliments it was f***ing hilarious! One guy said: ‘I’m going to be honest, I thought you were a prick before but now hats off to you. I still don’t like your music though!’
What’s your marriage really like?
F***ing annoying… she’s so f***ing annoying. No, do you know what? It’s what it always has been – it’s ours.
Would you like things to stay more private now?
Yeah. I speak about it in my book but it’s more about meeting Millie and the effect that had on me as opposed to every little detail about our relationship, which I just think doesn’t need to be said.
What’s Millie done for you?
Well, she’s an eternal optimist, isn’t she? I used to say I was a pessimist but I think I’m more of a realist. She stops me from going too far that way and I stop her from veering the other way. We balance each other out.
You’re a sociable couple though. Who’s the bigger party animal?
To be honest, more often than not I’ve stopped going out. I can’t be bothered! If we have a drink people say we get plastered – it’s always so exaggerated.
Why do you think people see you as so rock ’n’ roll?
Well, I can be rock ’n’ roll… I have nights that would make Pete Doherty shit himself [laughs]! It’s so weird – I can’t get my head around it. So I don’t try.
We love the pranks you play on each other on Instagram. What’s your favourite one?
Probably the one where we got engaged. We went to Paris to see [designer] Riccardo Tisci. I said: ‘Do you want to come, Mills?’ And then I proposed. That was a pretty bloody good prank!
You got a tattoo that says Lucky after you were stabbed in the neck – despite everything, we do think you’ve been very lucky.
Yeah. Good. Thank you. You’re the only ones to say it. All anyone else asks me is: ‘So why are you so lucky?’ I’m like: ‘I don’t know.’ No, I definitely was lucky and that’s what I want people to take away from the book. I’m lucky to be here and to be happy. Yeah, I’m very fortunate.
Pro Green’s book Lucky (£20, Blink Publishing) is out now