Kerry Katona was so desperate for a perfect family that it ‘almost left her dead’


Kerry Katona has opened up about how she craved to have the perfect nuclear family dream so much that it could have ‘left her dead’.

The former Atomic Kitten star first fell pregnant in 2001 by her husband at the time former Westlife band member Brian McFadden.

Unfortunately, the couple’s marriage didn’t work out but Kerry didn’t give up on finding love and went on to marry her next boyfriend Mark Croft, a marriage which sadly didn’t work out either.

According to The Mirror, the 41-year-old was so fearful of being judged by the public for getting yet another divorce, that she stayed with her third husband George even though she told how he would regularly beat her up and leave her black and blue as she was “so bothered about what the public thought” and wanted her children to live in a house with two parents.

She said family and friends have since told her that if she’d stayed with him, she probably would have ended up dead.

Speaking candidly to Closer magazine, Kerry said “being pushed from pillar to post” as a youngster and not knowing her biological dad had had such a profound effect on her that as an adult she was desperate for her children to be part of a “perfect “family unit.



Kerry is now happier and healthier than ever – but recalls the troubles of previous relationships

Recalling how first husband Brian McFadden was her “knight in shining armor,” Kerry told how she couldn’t believe it when he broke up with her and felt like she needed to get married again quickly so her children wouldn’t be in a ” broken”home.

“All I ever wanted was unity. I was distracted and I thought I just needed to get married again quickly so they would have a man in their life, because I never did,” she said. “I met Mark, and that went to s**t and then George. My children are the best thing that ever happened to me but it took me a long time to realize I was forcing my dream of the ‘perfect family’ on them I was enough for them and always have been.”

Whilst Kerry’s relationships didn’t work out, it was worth all the heartbreak as she has five “amazing, individual, beautiful children,” she added. The mum said she felt so judged by people that she was ’embarrassed’ to get married a fourth time when her fiancé Ryan Mahoney, 33, proposed.

“George was beating me up and I kept going back because I was so bothered about what the public thought, and I didn’t want another failed marriage, and another dad living in a different house. But I did the right thing, and everyone tells me if I had stayed I would have ended up dead,” said Kerry.

Kerry’s first marriage to Brian McFadden



Kerry shares two daughters with her first husband Brian McFadden
Kerry shares two daughters with her first husband Brian McFadden

It was meant to be a match made in showbiz heaven for Atomic Kitten’s Kerry and Westlife’s Brian McFadden when the pop couple wed in a glitzy star-studded ceremony in Ireland in January, 2002.

They had two daughters together, Molly, now 20, and Lilly-Sue, now 19, but their relationship wasn’t to be and they separated in 2004 before their divorce was finalized in December 2006.

Brian later married model Vogue Williams in 2012 (a marriage which ended five years later) and later went on to date secondary school PE teacher Danielle Parkinson in 2016.

The couple got engaged in December 2019 and welcomed a baby girl last May.

Kerry’s second marriage to Mark Croft

Jerry Katona’s second marriage was in 2007 to taxi driver Mark Croft. The couple went on to have two children together: Heidi, now 15, and Max, now 14.

But their marriage was a difficult one and was rocked by reports of drug use and ongoing financial problems.



Kerry Katona and her second husband Mark Croft in happier times
Kerry Katona and her second husband Mark Croft in happier times

“Our relationship was just about coke,” she later told Fabulous magazine. “Mostly, we’d have three-day sessions and not eat. I’d play online bingo, look up stories about me to make me feel worse, and watch cartoons. I had to stop, I had to get out. If I carried on doing what I was doing, I’d be dead.”

Kerry stepped away from the marriage in 2010 and focused on her health and the couple formally divorced in 2011.

Kerry’s third marriage to George Kay

This is the marriage which Kerry Katona says could have ended in her death.

George, who died of a drug overdose in 2019 after crushing a ball of cocaine inside a sock and “eating” it, had met Kerry years before when the pair were both students at Padgate High School in Warrington.

The couple had been childhood sweethearts during their teenage years before going their separate ways in adulthood. They got back together in their early 30s and got married in 2014, just months before Kerry gave birth to their daughter Dylan-Jorge, now eight.



Kerry Katona and her third husband George Kay, who she says was violent and abusive towards her
Kerry Katona and her third husband George Kay, who she says was violent and abusive towards her

During their marriage, Kerry accused George of being abusive and violent and the pair split up after a year.

Whilst Kerry was concerned she’d be judged by the public for a third divorce – and desperately wanted her children to live in a home with two parents – she eventually left the relationship due to the abuse.

A restraining order was put in place to separate George from Kerry and at the time of his death in 20198, he hadn’t seen his daughter for over a year.

He died in hospital after taking drugs at a hotel in Cheshire. The inquest into his passing of him, which took place in August 2021 at Warrington Coroner’s Court, returned a verdict of a drug-related death.

Kerry and her fiancé Ryan Mahoney

They say you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your Prince – but Kerry is hoping she’s finally found him, in the form of her fitness trainer beau Ryan Mahoney.

Kerry met Ryan, 33, on dating app Bumble more than three years ago and the couple got engaged in 2020.



Kerry Katona is now loved up with fiancé Ryan Mahoney
Kerry Katona is now loved up with fiancé Ryan Mahoney

The reality star previously said she was beginning to give up on love but friend Danielle Brown, sister of Spice Girl Mel B, suggested she give dating apps a go – and she soon met her match.

The loved-up couple were due to get married last summer but postponed their nuptials amid the pandemic.

The pair are still engaged but don’t have any set plans for their wedding just yet.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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