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Tuesday, 14 May, 2002, 09:13 GMT 10:13 UK
Ex-EastEnder tells of overdose
Daniella Westbrook
Westbrook says her son knew she was addicted
Former EastEnders star Daniella Westbrook took an overdose because she "despised" herself.

Westbrook gained tabloid notoriety when a newspaper picture showed the septum of her nose had disintegrated after spending a reported 250,000 on drugs.

She told the Radio Times she has been rehabilitated for more than a year and described the drug as "a killer".

When it came to the crunch I thought, hang on, I don't want to die

Daniella Westbrook
The 28-year-old actress said: "I had so many rock bottoms. I tried to overdose a few times with paracetamol and Night Nurse.

"It was a feeble cry for help because I despised myself.

"I'd look in the mirror and pretend 'I'm not that bad. Nothing a little make-up can't hide'.

"But the fact is, I was like a dead person walking."

Her five-year-old son Kai knew something was wrong because she would often shake after snorting cocaine.

Nose operation

"I looked after him well, but I shook when I took cocaine. Now he says, 'Mum it's great you don't shake any more'.

"He wants my nose done, and I've promised him it will be."

Despite claims that she was clean she appeared to be under the influence when she was a guest on Channel 4's The Priory last year.

Westbrook as she was in 1995
Westbrook was a fixture on the soap from 1990
"I said I was clean, but it was obvious I wasn't," she said.

"I looked about 50, and my voice was shaky.

"I should never have been allowed on. They wanted to laugh at me, rip me apart.

"I despise that sort of thing, but it did me the world of good because watching it I realised I'm so ill.

"When it came to the crunch I thought, hang on, I don't want to die."

Soon after that TV appearance she checked into a clinic in Arizona which finally helped her to wake up to the dangers of the drug.

"It's a killer," said Westbrook, who says in the Radio Times interview that she actually left EastEnders to give her more time to use drugs.

"I want to stay clean - and I will. I look back and think 'you mug'. I had everything for the taking and messed up."

See also:

18 Jan 00 | Entertainment
EastEnder Daniella axed again
12 Apr 02 | TV and Radio
Outhwaite bows out of EastEnders
01 Mar 02 | TV and Radio
EastEnder Jamie to quit Square
12 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
EastEnder Beppe moving on
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