Page last updated at 17:01 GMT, Monday, 24 August 2009 18:01 UK

Former pop star's turbulent life

Kerry Katona
Katona has encountered many highs and lows in her life so far

Kerry Katona's soap opera life has hit the headlines again after supermarket chain Iceland sacked her from its advertising campaign amidst drug-taking allegations.

Born in Warrington, Cheshire, the 28-year-old tried her hand at glamour modelling before finding success as one-third of girl group Atomic Kitten in 1999.

That success was driven by a difficult childhood, which saw her live with four sets of foster parents and attend eight different schools.

She was taken into care at the age of 13 after her mother fled to a women's refuge because of an abusive relationship. She never knew her real father.

"It was a hard childhood but that made me even more determined to succeed," she has said.

Celebrity circle

She started a relationship with Westlife singer Brian McFadden and left Atomic Kitten in February 2001 to give birth to their daughter, Molly, six months later.

At the time, Atomic Kitten believed they were about to be dropped by their label - but without her, the group gained a new member and went on to have their biggest hit, Whole Again.

Katona and McFadden married in January 2002 in County Meath, Ireland, putting the couple at the heart of the country's celebrity circle.

Atomic Kitten
Atomic Kitten gave Katona (centre) her first taste of fame

But their marriage was troubled by newspaper revelations about McFadden's infidelity on his stag night.

She eventually forgave him and the couple's second daughter, Lily Sue, was born in February 2003.

Katona started a television career, but her ITV1 dating show, Elimidate, was pulled from the screens after six outings. One critic claimed it was full of "spite, coarseness and stupidity".

She fared better after winning I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here in 2004, and her frank persona made her a popular panellist on ITV1's daytime talk show Loose Women.

Second marriage

But an appearance on Channel 4's reality show The Salon led to controversy after she said she had never really sung on any of Atomic Kitten's singles.

"It was a joke," she insisted later. "I can't believe the fuss this has caused. As a joke, I always say I can't sing, but I'm a great talker."

Katona and McFadden separated in September 2004, after which she had a spell in rehab, as she battled depression and drug abuse.

Brian McFadden and Kerry Katona
McFadden and Katona were married in 2002

But she remained in the public eye, advertising Iceland supermarkets and featuring in ITV1's From Ladette To Lady in 2005, where she attempted to learn airs and graces.

The following year, she published her autobiography, Too Much Too Young, detailing her difficult upbringing.

On Valentine's Day 2007, she married taxi driver Mark Croft in Gretna Green. Six days later, she gave birth to their daughter, Heidi Elizabeth.

But she complained of a difficult pregnancy, saying: "It's made me want to have my tubes tied, get the coil, go on the pill, get the injection and get Mark the snip - that's how much I've hated it."

Despite that, she went on to have another baby with Croft - this time a son, Maxwell, in April 2008.

The birth was captured on camera in MTV's reality TV programme Kerry Katona: Crazy in Love.

But the pregnancy proved controversial, after Katona admitted to smoking and drinking alcohol while she was expecting.

The month before the birth, Katona was admitted to The Priory for help with her on-going bi-polar disorder.

Alcohol problem

In August 2008, Katona was declared bankrupt at the High Court following her failure to pay the final £82,000 of a £417,000 tax bill.

Kerry Katona and Mark Croft
Katona and husband Mark Croft have starred in several reality shows

Concern was then raised a couple of months later, when a dazed Katona slurred her way through an interview with Fern Britton and Philip Schofield on This Morning.

Katona told reporters that her slurred speech was caused by medication for bipolar disorder.

In November, Katona admitted for the first time she was an alcoholic in a newspaper interview.

The latest scandal involves footage published in the News of the World, allegedly showing Katona taking cocaine in her bathroom.

A week after the video came to light, the reality TV star was cautioned by police for possession of a controlled substance.

Supermarket chain Iceland, which stood by Katona in the past, sacked her from its advertising campaigns, saying it was "impossible" for her to continue in the role.

Katona told the Sunday Mirror she was "sorry and so ashamed" of her actions in relation to the allegations.

"It was a moment of weakness and stupidity and I regret it terribly,"



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Katona axed from Iceland adverts
18 Aug 09 |  Business
Katona condemns 'rude' Schofield
05 May 09 |  Entertainment
Kerry Katona reveals drink battle
09 Nov 08 |  Entertainment
Katona and PR guru Clifford split
29 Oct 08 |  Entertainment
Kerry Katona backed by Iceland
24 Oct 08 |  Entertainment
Clifford 'concerned' about Katona
22 Oct 08 |  Entertainment

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific