Stephanie Davis has revealed that the process of becoming sober allowed her to ‘forgive’ her ex, and the father of her child, Jeremy McConnell.
The pair – who met in the Celebrity Big Brother house in 2016, struck up a romance and left the house as a couple in 2016 – have had one of the most tumultuous celebrity relationships of recent years, featuring reconciliations, public spats, domestic violence and a consequential restraining order.
But having taken time to put her career on hold, care for their son Caben [who is nearly 18 months old] and kick her alcohol addiction, Stephanie, 25, admits she has been able to clear her head and think calmly about the past, and the future.
Fresh perspectives: Stephanie Davis has revealed that the process of becoming sober allowed her to ‘forgive’ her ex, and the father of her child, Jeremy McConnell.
Happier times: Following a paternity test over Caben last year, the pair reconciled, and seemed to be in the throes of young love until photographs emerged of the pair battered and bruised following a late-night bust up in their hotel
As she looks to the future and launches a new clothing range [which she is pictured modelling], she told MailOnline: ‘I just had so much anger and resentment about Jeremy. Looking at him, I would be thinking “how can he not give a s**t?”
‘And Caben doesn’t know who he is. They are strangers. He hasn’t got a clue. But Alcoholics Anonymous has helped me let a lot of that go.’
Despite Jeremy reconciling with Stephanie shortly after she gave birth, this only lasted a couple of months, ending in a physical altercation in a hotel room.
‘He was never there fully, in that time,’ Stephanie explained. ‘And yet, Jeremy never wanted Caben to have the kind of life that [Jeremy] had. Yet he’s now f**king that up.’
Stephanie admitted that she ‘had to let that go’ and ‘care about myself’; but she has managed to use sobriety as a way to cleanse her mind, as well as her body.
‘I can’t be selfish, I have to think about Caben when he’s older. And if Jeremy gets sober, is willing to pay towards his child and see him, spend time with him…as long as he’s drug-free then he can gain back my trust.
Traumatic: Despite Jeremy reconciling with Stephanie shortly after she gave birth this only lasted a couple of months, ending in a physical altercation in a hotel room
‘He is a cocaine addict. He can’t drink or he’ll want coke. I want Caben to have a dad, but not one that’s always in and out. I don’t want him to mess him up because Caben is a happy baby.’
Stephanie retained that Jeremy has to make a choice sooner rather than later, adding: ‘I don’t want him to come back when Caben’s three and just kick around a ball with him.
‘If he gets sober… he’s his dad. I can forgive him for all of that. But I have to work on it for the rest of my life.’
The alternative, Stephanie says, is that Caben will grow up and resent his father for not being in his life. And she has a plan to soften the blow when Caben asks the unavoidable questions about his father.
‘I’ll try and say his daddy wasn’t very well. Which is true. But right now Caben is a very happy little boy. Kids who have parents in AA are the best children,’ she said.
Looking to the future: Stephanie is launching a new clothing range [which she is pictured modelling], and told MailOnline how Alcoholics Anonymous has helped her
Turbulent: Stephanie and Jeremy welcomed son Caben in January 2017 following months of public make-ups and break-ups after meeting on Celebrity Big Brother
The former Hollyoaks actress – who has taken time away from television since she left the CBB house in January 2016 – retains that she’s learnt a lot about addiction from going to AA meetings. Yet she believes there’s no reasoning for Jeremy’s behaviour in the past – despite the former model losing several members of his family over recent years.
She said: ‘There is no excuse. He could have had me. It’s very sad. But he couldn’t give up drugs. I’m sorry but everyone deals with death in their lives and loses people close to them. Some people grow up in care and yet turn out as great people.
‘Alcohol is the worst drug. It should be illegal. It causes people to do other drugs. And I know that the AA fellowship saved my life. Recovering addicts are the best people I have ever met. And it’s so simple to get help with AA. You just walk in.’
Forgive, but don’t forget: ‘If he gets sober… he’s his dad. I can forgive him for all of that. But I have to work on it for the rest of my life,’ Stephanie said of Jeremy
Stephanie feels that she has learnt a great deal about the way addiction works thanks to her own methods of recovery, and that this helps her to think clearly about her ex-boyfriend and his troubles.
‘The way normal people go and have a few drinks – you can’t do that if you’re an addict,’ she said. ‘You can’t handle emotions.
‘Like me, I didn’t know how to manage my feelings so I would drink to block it out. And if you stay clean, the obsession goes away.’
Jeremy’s last television appearance was on a celebrity version of The Jeremy Kyle Show, in which he was seemingly remorseful about his behaviour, felt guilt about the state of things with his son and became extremely upset.
Yet Stephanie feels that was a missed opportunity.
Defiant: She believes there’s no reasoning for Jeremy’s behaviour in the past – despite the former model losing several members of his family over recent years
‘I thought it would be a prime opportunity to let Jeremy [Kyle] send him to rehab. What a waste.’
Aside from a desire to return to singing and acting, Stephanie has also launched a range of clothing – because she’s ‘always been obsessed with everything the Kardashians wear’.
Launched with online boutique JYY London, it marks Stephanie’s very first fashion collection and has been a massive hit already.
‘I always wore JYY stuff anyway. I really like the range. And my followers on social media are always commenting on my posts asking where I get my stuff from.
‘So I thought I’d like to do a summer range and just release the kind of stuff everyone wants. Like, everything’s about the bum now. I’ve loved the process, even down to shooting the clothes.’
Fangirl: Aside from a desire to return to singing and acting, Stephanie has also launched a range of clothing – because she’s ‘always been obsessed with everything the Kardashians wear’
Stephanie had always wanted to model, but felt it was impossible because she was considered too short. So she jumped at the chance to model the collection herself.
‘I just wanted to be hands on and wear the clothes. My mum used to tell me one day I could do modelling. And now I have,’ she beamed.
The soap star is incredibly close to her mother, and says that she and her are all Caben needs. They also believe that the tot was ‘sent to them’ by Stephanie’s late grandfather.
‘It’s really like he’s been here before. People always say that when they see him,’ she said of her son. ‘Caben likes the old fashioned films. I don’t really let him watch TV, but if ever I do he wants to watch things like True Grit.
‘I think my granddad sent him. He was sent to me at a dark point in my life. I was so low and suicidal. I don’t know if I’d have been here if it wasn’t for Caben so he kept me going.’
Pose: ‘I always wore JYY stuff anyway. I really like the range. And my followers on social media are always commenting on my posts asking where I get my stuff from,’ she explained of the collaboration
Stephanie said she has ‘lived an 80-year-old’s life in 25 years’ and that she is ‘done with men’.
Brushing off rumours she was dating Calum Best, she said: ‘Caben is the only man I need in my life. He is my best friend. When he’s older, he will know I’m the most important person to him and he’ll always protect me. He will grow up and I know how much he’ll respect women.’
Stephanie plans to release an album, and says she could be the new Adele with all the ‘heartbreak material’ she has under her belt to write songs about.
‘I wrote songs in rehab. I’m better at writing my feelings down and expressing them through music,’ she said. ‘What I was going through last year would make fantastic heartbreak songs.’
Shocking: In March last year, a court heard how Jeremy had thrown Stephanie ‘around like a rag doll’ during a domestic dispute between the pair
She also admits that she is terrified of ever loving someone again, and that she is not looking for it.
‘I would be scared to fall in love again. I know that’s a bit cheesy to say, but it’s true.’
Her aspirations for the rest of 2018 include getting back on TV as an actress: ‘I have missed it. My home is in front of the camera. I love it. I want to win an award for best actress. Any award.
‘It’s important to get back to my career. As a single mum that freaks me out a little bit but it’s important to still have an outside life too.
‘You can forget who you are, so I want to find me again, which I didn’t think I ever would.’