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Katie V Peter
The Inside Story of their Divorce
By Emily Herbert
John Blake Publishing LtdCopyright © 2015 Emily Herbert
All rights reserved.
End of a Dream
The end, when it came, was brutal. On 8 September 2009, at the High Court in London, divorce proceedings were under way. District Judge Bradley was working his way through a list of 21: second to last were the names of a couple who were cross-petitioning each other for a divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour, under the names Price K v Andrea PJ – Peter Andre's real name.
The names were read out, Judge Bradley pronounced decree nisi and said that the papers involved would not be made public as Peter's lawyers had made an application to keep them private until a full hearing into whether they should be made public. The whole proceedings took just over a minute: Katie Price and Peter Andre were divorced. Their marriage had lasted just three years.
And so it was over for Britain's most famous couple. But just what had gone wrong? After Pete's shock decision to walk out on Katie the previous May, the couple had been increasingly at loggerheads, but matters escalated in previous weeks. Any chance that the duo might have had of keeping matters civilised had evaporated months previously, with a fierce war of words from the outset. All sorts of rumours swirled around as to the cause of the split and these were to intensify over the coming months as the two fought a public-relations battle to win the greatest support and neither seemed inclined to keep things amicable. In her hurt and rage, Katie lashed out at Pete and, while he attempted to keep cool, often he was provoked beyond endurance and so, in turn, lashed out himself. Matters did not improve when, over time, Katie was to form another relationship, while her ex-boyfriend Dwight Yorke also got roped into the mix. At times, it seemed, this was war.
The first really public battle was about who had been unfaithful to whom, although, if truth be told, it was probably neither of them. The marriage fell apart for very different reasons, but both had admitted to being jealous where the other was concerned, Katie had allowed herself to be photographed with other men and anyway, no one could quite believe that two such sought-after people would split up without anyone else being involved.
Pete, in particular, was incensed by any accusation that he had cheated on his famous wife. Back in early June, shortly after the decision to split was announced, he was adamant that he had been a good husband from the start. 'I never once strayed from Kate,' he told friends. 'I was brought up to believe marriage was for life and this goes against everything my family and I stand for. Kate and I had our troubles like any other couple, but I never gave up until the very, very end. I would never walk away from the marriage without thinking about it long and hard; I didn't just up and fly the nest. I believe marriage is for life and this has left me utterly devastated.'
It had, too, but then Katie was clearly badly affected as well. Right from the start, she put on a much tougher show than Peter, but a dramatic weight loss when she appeared on the Clothes Show Live in late May clearly illustrated that she was taking it much harder than she let on. Neither of them appeared able to talk to the other, however, with the result that both were clearly knocked for six about it all.
Katie continued to put a brave face on it, but her actions told a different story. She was partying hard, often causing chaos wherever she turned up. The reality was that she was indulging in extreme behaviour to try to forget all her troubles, but, still, it didn't look good. A case in point was a Boyzone concert at Wembley Arena, during which she seemed totally out of control.
'Jordan was an absolute car crash – it was really sad and quite disturbing to see her in that state,' said one observer. 'She had been drinking before and during the show. Then, when it got to the big finale, where the band are raised up over the crowd on cables, she stumbled into the sound mixing table and spilled her drink all over it. The band's microphones cut out and the earpieces they wear to receive instructions from the show director started malfunctioning and making a really high-pitched screeching noise in their ears.
'They had to pull them out – it was an absolute disaster, but Jordan carried on laughing and dancing around with her mates. Many of the fans in that area could clearly see what she was getting up to and, by the end of the gig, there was more people pointing at her than at the band. They looked amazed that she was behaving like that in full view of so many people. It was just sad to see her like that. She's clearly very emotional and taking the split very badly ... It's a shame to see her like that.'
It was easy to mock, not least because Katie had spent much of her twenties falling out of nightclubs with a new man on her arm, but this time her behaviour seemed to signal a kind of desperation. When people are very hurt, they resort to extreme behaviour, including getting drunk in an effort to forget about their woes, and, clearly, this was what was happening here. Katie wasn't happy: she was having a horrible time and doing whatever she could to numb the pain.
Other people recognised that, too. Boyzone's Mikey Graham spoke for the rest of the band: 'We're obviously concerned for her and hope she gets through whatever troubles she has at the minute,' he said. 'We had no idea she was coming to the gig until she turned up just after it started.'
In many ways, it would have been better for her had she just admitted how hurt she felt and simply hid away, but that wasn't Katie – her style was to get out there and show she was fighting, which is exactly what she did. It was Pete who admitted he was finding it very hard; even though he had left her, rather than vice versa, the couple had been married, after all, and had two children between them, Junior Savva Andreas and Princess Tiaamii Crystal Esther, as well as Katie's son with footballer Dwight Yorke, Harvey, whom Pete treated as his own. In fact, the children grew to be as much a focus for fighting as anything else, with everything from the amount of time Pete got to spend with them to the appropriateness of introducing them to their parents' new partners becoming a focal point of debate.
Pete, in particular, was emphatic that the children should not see their parents with other people while they were still legally married and was furious when his estranged wife soon began to take a different tack. He also continued to react angrily, when asked if he was seeing someone else. The answer was a firm 'no'.
'I can confirm the story in one magazine saying I'd grown close to three other women was total lies,' he said. 'Apparently, I've got one woman in Cyprus, another in Los Angeles and I'm involved with a member of staff. I can hold my head up high and say I've been 100 per cent faithful throughout my marriage, and still am. Any reports suggesting otherwise are hurtful and false.'
It was a stance he was to maintain, not least out of respect for his children, clearly concerned about the trio seeing new partners move too quickly into their parents' lives.
Even at this early stage, several themes were beginning to emerge that would play out over and over again as the divorce began to roll through. The first was the PR battle between the two of them. Right from the start, Katie appeared out in public, over and over again, in ever-skimpier outfits, often drunk and, after not too long, with a man on her arm. Pete, on the other hand, was frequently seen with the children, taking them for days out and playing with them.
Gradually, the two began to be viewed as two totally different personas in the public eye: raunchy Katie and saintly Pete. This went beyond just how she appeared in the papers, though, as far as Katie was concerned: since meeting Pete, and especially since marrying him, she had transformed her public image from a glamour girl to a role model. A lot of her fans now were young girls, who bought her horse books, and whose mothers would be not be too pleased to see her leading an increasingly wild lifestyle. Soon, Katie's advisers began to worry that the split would do her commercial harm.
Katie herself had also become concerned about it, albeit somewhat belatedly. She also began to display signs that she was a long way from being over Pete: having point-blank refused to see him, possibly as a tactic to make him see what he was missing, now she was reverting to the other extreme.
'For weeks, Katie was being a complete cow to Pete, insisting he deal with her through her mother, Amy,' said a friend. 'Katie moaned that she relaunched Peter's career when they got together – and now he is getting all the attention. She is worried fewer people are signing up for her internet fanclub – and thinks their fans have sided with Pete.' In actual fact, it was a close-cut thing: fascination for Katie remained as strong as ever, but Pete was certainly getting the better press.
But the other theme that was emerging and would continue to do so, even after the divorce, was that Katie wanted Pete back. She might have been putting on a very brave face in public but it was he, totally exasperated by their rows, who was the one who walked out and finally decided to put an end to the marriage. Peter Andre, unlike some of Katie's previous boyfriends, is a kind and thoughtful man, and, as is so often the case, Katie only realised what she'd lost when it was too late.
Pete was veering between anger and concern. On the one hand, he had to put up with his estranged wife being seen partying all over town, but on the other he could tell Katie was going off the rails, especially after one rather fun night out with Michelle Heaton. In private, too, Katie was urging him to reconsider, not realising that it really was too late.
'He knew she would be upset but thought their marriage had run its natural course,' said a friend. 'He feels really bad about the whole situation as he cares for Katie deeply and hates to see her like this. All her desperate phone calls are really heartbreaking, but he's determined to stay strong. Deep down, he knows that it's not right to get back together, no matter how much it's hurting Katie. In the long term, it's better for both of them.'
And then, again, there were the children: Pete was an avowed family man and hated being away from them so much, on top of which there was the situation with Harvey. Pete might not have been his biological dad, but he was a father to him in every other way, and access was a grey area. 'Kate and I have three beautiful children,' said Pete, at one point. 'And so, for them, I want to keep things as amicable as possible. I love spending time with the kids – I would see them 24/7 if I could, so I don't want to get into a public slanging match with Kate. I just want us to be good parents.'
And, as if all that were not enough, both he and Katie were seeing their weight plummet. It was a very uneasy state of affairs.
At least they both had their work. In June, Pete flew to Macau, China, to perform at the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) and this helped to cheer him up. 'The past four weeks have been the worst of my life,' he told a reporter. 'It was hell. No matter what happens, you never stop loving someone. Initially, I couldn't even have thought about work – my head was everywhere. It still is everywhere. But it's been a month now and I know I've got to start pulling myself together. The response I've had since being in China has been absolutely amazing. This, and the work I am doing now, is beginning to give me confidence again. Singing has given me something to focus on. I never expected the attention I've been getting and I am so glad this is happening. I've only been here a couple of days but it's already turned out better than I ever hoped. Finally, I am beginning to smile again. It's not like I'm a bundle of joy now, but it's getting better. I'm even cracking terrible jokes!'
He further revealed that the pair had tried marriage counselling although that, too, hadn't worked. Despite the shock caused when he walked out, the marriage had been in trouble for some time, and now it was far too late to try to piece it together again. 'Yes, it was Pete who left Katie – but not [until] after he had done everything in his power to make the marriage work,' said a friend of Katie. 'Neither of them take divorce lightly and both wanted their relationship to work for the sake of the kids, if nothing else. So Pete persuaded Kate to give counselling a go once they started having frequent, more hostile rows. He really was willing to try anything, if it might help. Although they both went into it willingly, it was more of a Band-Aid gesture – a desperate final attempt to patch up the marriage and make it work. Pete was devastated that it wasn't the solution.'
In truth, it was too little, too late.
Still, work continued to be a solace. Katie let it be known that she wanted to compete in the dressage and show-jumping categories in the 2012 Olympics, although how realistic that ambition was it was difficult to say. Behind the scenes, however, despite Pete's wish to keep matters pleasant for the sake of the children, bitterness was growing. One of the many reasons given for the break-up of the marriage was Katie's friendship with her married riding teacher Andrew Gould coupled with Pete's jealousy, but Kate and Andrew were adamant that they were just good friends.
It was, however, her friendship with Andrew that had been a big factor in Pete walking out. A couple of weeks before the split, Katie had gone for a big night out with some of the horsey set, with whom she was socialising increasingly frequently, (another factor in the problems between Pete and herself), and was pictured laughing and enjoying herself. Gould was also in the group, which many people believed was the final straw as far as Pete was concerned.
Gould attempted to defuse the situation. 'Kate, and I, and all her friends, have always socialised at shows and horse events,' he said, when it became apparent that his name was about to be made public. 'It was all harmless stuff and it has been blown out of proportion. We were just out socialising with friends, as we normally would. I don't see it's going to change. She's obviously quite distressed about what's going on. It's a time [when] she needs to be alone with her family, so I will respect that. I would say Peter is jealous because we have a close link – as far as horses go. It's just a horse thing.'
But it was also a sign that the two were growing apart. Pete made no bones about the fact that he was jealous where Katie was concerned, but this was more evidence that the couple were now moving in very different circles and they simply didn't fit together any more. But this made them both angry and, inevitably, it also made them lash out.
Katie seemed to veer between grief and fury. Indeed, the depth of animosity was revealed by Sol Gilbert, a fitness instructor and friend who was helping her to build up her physique. 'I'm not going to waste one more second on trying to get him back,' Kate told him, and added, 'I feel utterly humiliated – I'm getting caned every day in the papers. Usually stories like this die down, but this keeps on going every day – it's getting bigger and bigger.'
And it was: public fascination with the two showed no signs of abating. But what Katie couldn't understand was why the public seemed to be siding with Pete, and not her. Certainly, there was some feeling that she had pushed a basically decent man too far, but another problem was that Katie didn't seem to realise that the kind of behaviour that had made her a celebrity in the first place was seen by many as inappropriate now that she had three young children, while Pete, the doting father, was gaining all the public support.
As ever, she continued to fight back, working out to get herself into even better shape and she could always confide in her friends. Sol was also able to provide more detail on what had gone wrong. 'Pete rounded on Katie over her friendship with her riding instructor, Andrew Gould,' he revealed. 'It wasn't true [that she was having an affair], and Katie pleaded with him to believe her – but Pete wouldn't listen. She told me, "I begged him to stay to try to work things out for the sake of the children. I couldn't understand why someone would just want to walk out and leave their family."'
Clearly, she felt that the fact that she inhabited the world of the horsey set and Pete didn't had caused increasing tension between them. 'Pete didn't like the fact I enjoyed myself riding and would always come back with a smile on my face,' she told Sol. He would say, "Why are you so happy?" And he didn't like me going out socialising and having fun. Then he confronted me about my relationship with Andrew and I told him I just loved riding, but he didn't believe me.'
Of course, Katie was employing something of a selective memory here. In truth, the rows and tensions about any number of subjects had been simmering for months, but there was no doubt that she was absolutely shattered by what had gone on.
'I spoke to Katie when she was in the Maldives just after the split,' Sol continued. 'It was evening and I was at home and she was in her villa. She was devastated. She said, "I can't believe he walked out on me like that."'
Excerpted from Katie V Peter by Emily Herbert. Copyright © 2015 Emily Herbert. Excerpted by permission of John Blake Publishing Ltd.
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