Christine McGuinness has shared her pain of growing up with a heroin addict father who would inject drugs in front of her as a child.
The 33-year-old, who was born in Blackpool, has spoken for the first time in public about Johnny’s battle with the Class A drug that has resulted in him never meeting husband Paddy, their three children or being able to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day.
The Real Housewives of Cheshire star moved out of the family home when she was just one-year-old after mum Joanne spotted her crawling over one of Johnny’s needles.
The media personality, writing candidly in her new book ‘Christine McGuinness: A Beautiful Nightmare’, told how her father is one of the longest living heroin addicts in the UK but has a good relationship with him and loves him dearly.
In an extract seen by The Sun, she said: “I saw my dad inject heroin. As a teenager, I struggled with his addiction. I blamed myself.
“When I became a mum, I kept thinking about how he chose drugs over his own kids.
“But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realised it wasn’t as simple a choice for him. Addiction is an illness.”
Christine has previously kept her father’s addiction struggles out of the public domain, but recalls how growing up with her sister Billie-Jo, she witnessed the addiction first hand as a teenager and struggled to understand why he chose to use Class A drugs over being a presence in her life.
Despite offering her father the chance to meet Top Gear and Question of Sport frontman Paddy when she asked him to walk her down the aisle at their wedding in 2011, he heartbreakingly backed out on the day just as she was getting in her bridal gown.
While Christine said her grandparents tried their best to help him – even putting Johnny into rehab – she said she believes there is no turning back for him.
The model also revealed doctors previously thought they’d have to amputate his leg due to the damage done by using dirty needles over the years and the number of holes and abscesses on his legs.
Christine’s trauma has been made worse over the years after being contacted on a number of occasions by hospitals to warn her that Johnny could die.
Going back over the times she had rushed to be by her father’s side before he passed, Christine added: “‘He looks like he’s going to die,’ I’ll say after making a mad dash to the hospital.
“Then he’ll walk out, strong as an ox.” To add to the pain, Christine admitted that after Johnny’s worst health scares he would vow to get clean for good.
Christine doubts he will ever be able to get clean for good after three decades of struggle.
While she still has a good relationship with her father and still loves him, she makes it clear she will never be able to respect him.
Johnny’s absence during important moments in her life made Christine even closer with her mother Joanne.
She wrote: “My mum longed for that relationship to work. It broke her heart. I’m so grateful she did leave him and that she got [us] away.”
Preorder Christine McGuinness: A Beautiful Nightmare (RRP £20, out 25 November) and save £5 with offer code XA9. Order online at mirrorbooks.co.uk
Have you got news for us? Contact our newsdesk on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get all the latest news, sport and what’s on stories sent to your inbox daily with the LancsLive newsletter here.