Dan Wootton’s weekly blog Behind the Interview

Talking about either self-harm, an abortion or a miscarriage from a personal perspective is difficult at the best of times. Discussing all three at once is particularly painful. 

Sure, cynics will probably argue that The Only Way Is Essex star Gemma Collins has a book to promote. But when she sat down with me to open up about the darkest moments in her life for my Now interview this week, I was taken by her straight-from-the-heart honesty.

I was most shocked when Gemma revealed she had miscarried a baby just 24 hours before the National Television Awards last year.

She was only 11-weeks pregnant so hadn’t publicly announced that she was expecting or for that matter told her TOWIE co-stars (the father was a convicted drug dealer who did not feature on the ITV2 reality show).

However, it was still a bold decision to attend such a public event so soon after a personal trauma.

She tells me: ‘What people didn’t realise is that under the £3,500 vintage dress I was wearing, I was covered in padding and bandages because 24 hours earlier I had been carted off in an ambulance. When I look at the pictures, I was dead behind the eyes.’

It’s obvious to me that it’s still painful for Gemma to discuss her issues having children.

In her 20s, she aborted a baby she was carrying at three months pregnant, fearful it could have been damaged because she had been taking medication.

Self-harm followed when Gemma cut herself. She reveals: ‘I felt guilt and total despair. I was thinking: “Oh my God, I killed my baby.”‘

Now the 32-year-old now worries her miscarriage may have been ‘God paying me back’ for the abortion.

While it’s terribly sad she feels that way, it’s particularly refreshing to see a high profile woman being so honest about emotions that affect thousands of women across Britain on a weekly basis.

– Read Dan Wootton’s full interview with Gemma Collins in Now Magazine – out now!

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