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Martine McCutcheon reflects on the ‘ups and downs’ of marriage to Jack McManus

Martine McCutcheon has reflected on the ‘ups and downs’ of her marriage to her husband Jack McManus – in her first interview since the tragic death of her brother.

The TV star, 46, said that they ‘don’t have the perfect relationship by any means’ but that she does ‘confide’ in him when ‘life gets tricky’.

It comes after last week Martine sadly revealed the passing of her brother LJ who died aged 31 without medical explanation.

Journey: Martine McCutcheon has reflected on the ‘ups and downs’ of her marriage to her husband Jack McManus – in her first interview since the tragic death of her brother

Martine and Jack have been together for 15 years and married 10 years ago. They share son Rafferty, seven, who they renewed their vows in front of last month.

She told The Sun of her relationship: ‘Both Jack and I have always been honest we don’t have the perfect relationship by any means.

‘We’ve had our ups and downs, like everybody. We’ve had our challenges, but I think ultimately we’re each other’s best friend.

‘When life gets tricky and isn’t always as fabulous it’s good you can have somebody you can talk too and confide in and be all of yourself with, and you know that’s a safe space and they’ve got your back.’

Tragic: It comes after last week Martine sadly revealed the passing of her brother LJ (pictured together) who died aged 31 without medical explanation

Tragic: It comes after last week Martine sadly revealed the passing of her brother LJ (pictured together) who died aged 31 without medical explanation

Family: Martine and Jack have been together for 15 years and married 10 years ago. They share son Rafferty, seven, who they renewed their vows in front of last month

Family: Martine and Jack have been together for 15 years and married 10 years ago. They share son Rafferty, seven, who they renewed their vows in front of last month

The actress added in the chat that she was keen to ensure their vow renewal was a private, with just their son in attendance. 

They celebrated at the five-star Beaverbrook hotel 10 years after tying the knot in Lake Como, Italy. 

It comes after earlier this month Martine shared an emotional tribute to her LJ after he suddenly died aged 31 without medical explanation.

The heartbroken TV star took to Instagram where she admitted her ‘heart is forever broken’ while revealing her only sibling Laurence John, aka LJ – who had a mild form of special needs – died two weeks ago. 

'My heart is forever broken': It comes after earlier this month Martine shared an emotional tribute to her LJ after he suddenly died aged 31 without medical explanation

‘My heart is forever broken’: It comes after earlier this month Martine shared an emotional tribute to her LJ after he suddenly died aged 31 without medical explanation

She said the website designer had been due to get married to his fiancée Jay Eaton, 49, in a month’s time and Martine, who was going to be bridesmaid, had seen her brother just a few days before he had died. 

Sharing a couple of photos of LJ, Martine wrote: ‘My heart is forever broken, My baby brother, my gentle giant, sadly passed away, suddenly, 2 weeks ago. He was 31 years old. 

‘There is no medical explanation as to why we lost him so soon and whilst we investigate further, we are having to accept that nothing will bring our boy back to us. 

Special bond: Martine shared this Instagram picture with her brother in 2013, writing about how much she loved him - she was just aged 15 when he was born

Special bond: Martine shared this Instagram picture with her brother in 2013, writing about how much she loved him – she was just aged 15 when he was born 

‘L.J (Laurence John) was born when I was 15 years old and from the moment I first held him in my arms, I felt so proud and fiercely protective of him. He was such a character! 

‘He made us all laugh and loved nothing more than making a plan, having a great play list, bringing people together and generally having a giggle. 

‘He hated the thought of a party ending and so was always on to the next thing!  LJ had a mild form of special needs and was very clever with gadgets & adored his cars!’

She continued: ‘With unwavering love, support and a commitment to himself, he took hold of life with both hands and smashed through any expectation we had of him. He would genuinely blow us all away at times!

Memories: Martine also took to her stories to share the same image with her brother alongside the song Don't You Worry Child by Swedish House Mafia, which was LJ's favourite song

Memories: Martine also took to her stories to share the same image with her brother alongside the song Don’t You Worry Child by Swedish House Mafia, which was LJ’s favourite song

‘He had a huge heart and adored Rafferty. He gave me so much, he was my anchor, my radar of what really mattered in life and whilst he was always so proud of me and would tell the world I was his sister – I always wanted to protect him from the limelight and the characters that could be drawn to him for the wrong reasons. 

‘He travelled the world, he had parents, sisters, a brother and friends that couldn’t have loved him more! He could have you infuriated one minute and laughing the next with his dimples and soppy smile. 

‘LJ fell in love and was due to get married next month… I was asked to be bridesmaid and the last time I saw him, was a few days before he passed. 

‘He, Jack and his future stepson had been to try on their wedding suits and then they came back to have dinner with his fiancée and the family to see our new home. 

Grateful: The former EastEnders actress also shared a statement in which she thanked her fans for all their 'amazing messages of love and support' for her sibling

Grateful: The former EastEnders actress also shared a statement in which she thanked her fans for all their ‘amazing messages of love and support’ for her sibling

‘He looked so tanned, tall and handsome. The best I’ve ever seen him… Ironic really… 

‘My heart aches for all who have lost him. But my heart breaks for our mum, his dad John & his Step parents. 

‘You should never outlive your children. I’m scared to live without you LJ but I know you will want us to truly live, laugh and love in your memory. I will try I promise.’ 

In 2021, LJ shared the same photo and wrote: ‘This is a very special photo to me. I would like to thank my big sister for organising a summer birthday celebration last Saturday! 

Love: LJ's Instagram bio described him as a 'proud brother to his sister @martinemccutcheon'

Love: LJ’s Instagram bio described him as a ‘proud brother to his sister @martinemccutcheon’

‘Martine has been there though out my life and seen me grow into the person I am today. I have struggles with life with and my special needs but I’ve overcome the obstacles I have faced throughout my years. 

‘My sister has been inspirational to me. Martine made my 30th very special and I’m making a week of it! Love you so much @martinemccutcheon #30 #family #sibbings.’ [sic]

Myleene Klass was among the first to offer her condolences to Martine. 

She wrote: ‘Martine. My heart is utterly broken for you. I am so very sorry.’ 

Claire Sweeney wrote: ‘Darling im so sorry to hear this.’

Billie Shepherd penned: I am so sorry to hear this Martine. sending you and family lots of love and strength.’

‘Oh I am so sorry Martine’, commented Sheridan Smith.

‘Oh darling I’m so so sorry to hear this. I send my heartfelt condolences and love to you and all the family. XXX’ added Imelda May.

Former TOWIE star Shelby Tribble shared: ‘So sorry for your loss.’ 

Sad loss: LJ pictured with his fiancée Jay Eaton on April 13. He had written: ‘Can’t wait to see you walk down the aisle on our wedding’ 

Coronation Street’s Samia Longchambon wrote: ‘so sorry for your loss Martine, sending love.’

With Clara Amfo adding: ‘So sorry to learn this Martine, sending lots of love xxx.’

Martine also took to her stories to share the same image with her brother alongside the song Don’t You Worry Child by Swedish House Mafia, which was LJ’s favourite song.

She penned: One of your fave songs ever… we used to blare it full blast in the car and sing it out loud whilst dancing in our seats! It couldn’t be more apt right now.

‘I love you baby boy. Always have. Always will.

‘I will honour your memory forever and try to grab life like you did! ALL of your family were and are so proud of you. Go and show all the angels how it’s done.’

The former EastEnders actress also shared a statement in which she thanks her fans for all their ‘amazing messages of love and support’ for her sibling. 

She went on to add that she wanted to put a ‘true and fitting tribute’ for her brother, adding that she and her whole family need time to grieve and heal. 

Family: Martine pictured sharing a joke with her grandmother, mother and brother at her Behind The Scenes book launch at Claridge's on October 21, 2003

Family: Martine pictured sharing a joke with her grandmother, mother and brother at her Behind The Scenes book launch at Claridge’s on October 21, 2003 

Following LJ’s death, Martine’s step-mother Elle McCutcheon remarked: ‘We just need our privacy at the moment.’

When asked about the cause of LJ’s death, she said: ‘It’s still being investigated and we have no further comment to make’.

LJ’s Instagram bio reads: ‘I’m LJ proud brother to my sister @martinemccutcheon. Founder of @mccutcheonwebsitedesigns and fiancé to my beautiful wife to be my soulmate forever.’ 

Martine previously posted a birthday message to her brother on his 30th birthday last June.

She wrote at the time: ‘Happy 30th Birthday to my little (big) brother LJ!

‘I’m so proud of all you have achieved and who you have become – Against the odds. You arrived into my world when I was 15 and I adored you from the moment I first held you.

‘You’ve battled at times with your special needs and have had your struggles but you were always determined to live a normal life, have a good job, fall in love and get married…

‘The things so many take for granted were your biggest dreams and now it’s all coming true for you! I’m so thrilled for you! Enjoy your day with Jay and Happy Birthday Darling, here’s to your best year yet!’

Close: Martine shared this snap in 2018 and wrote: 'Me and my bro #neverfailstomakeuslaugh'

Close: Martine shared this snap in 2018 and wrote: ‘Me and my bro #neverfailstomakeuslaugh’

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