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Page last updated at 08:25 GMT, Monday, 22 September 2008 09:25 UK
Ash wouldn't rule out plastic surgery

By Catherine Burns
Newsbeat health reporter

Leslie Ash had her lips injected to plump them out, but it went wrong. She was left with what the papers called a "trout pout". Despite that, she's told Newsbeat she still has Botox and wouldn't rule out surgery.

Leslie Ash
Ash had to contend with serious illness after contracting a strain of MRSA

Meeting Leslie Ash is a strange experience. You've seen so many photos of her after that botched injection that you're worried you'll spend the whole time staring at her lips.

In reality, they're not that noticeable. She definitely looks different to the love interest from Men Behaving Badly, but she's still an attractive woman.

She said she started having her lines filled and lips plumped a couple of years before anything went wrong and thought it was "fantastic".

So, when she went back for a top-up, she didn't worry.

She said: "I didn't ask what she was injecting and I wasn't asking why there were so many more injections than before."

After a few days, the swelling hadn't gone down and her body reacted against the liquid silicone. Her face went hard - like plastic.

There's not much she can do about it. She's had more injections to soften her lips but they'll never go back to normal.

I had to re-organize my entire life, my being one thing - to a disabled ex-actress
Leslie Ash

She said one of the hardest things was how the papers reacted: "I felt quite shocked how venomous some of the headlines were.

"It was like a frenzy. It was just unbelievable. I did hide away. It was awful, horrible."

You'd probably expect her to be against plastic surgery now but that's not the case.

She's reluctant to discuss it at first but admitted she's had other procedures since then.

"Women don't like to talk about what they've had done... Yeah I've had some Botox. I don't see what all the fuss is about really," she said.

She said she's learnt her lesson and makes sure she goes to someone who knows exactly what they are doing.

She's happy with the way she looks now but would think about having surgery in the future.

She said: "I know a lot of people would be surprised by me saying that, but why would I say never?

Men Behaving Badly screengrab
Ash starred in Men Behaving Badly with Neil Morrisey

"I don't think anyone should say never. I don't want to look younger, I just want to look healthy.

"If you just do little bits when you need it, I don't see why you shouldn't do it."

The actress has done a TV documentary looking into the issue and thinks the entire industry needs tougher controls.

She said: "Now beauticians are being trained to offer it with hair, massage - and I think that could open up a lot of problems.

"It should be like America. If you inject someone without the right qualifications there, you get arrested for assault and battery. People aren't covered here."

She admitted she's "obsessive about her body", and that her career made it harder.

"You are under a lot of pressure, work does start drying up as an actress gets older that's for sure," she said.

But she said this all seemed much less important after an accident in 2004.

She ended up in hospital after breaking her ribs.

While she was there she picked up an infection, a bit like MRSA. It could have meant she would never be able to walk again.

She ended up getting a 5m settlement from the NHS.

Now, she uses a walking stick to walk, and takes pain-killers every day.

She said: "I had everything, a fantastic career, a fantastic husband, good kids, good looks.

"I had to re-organize my entire life, my being one thing - to a disabled ex-actress.

"I'd like to get back to work. I'd like someone to be very brave and employ a disabled actress."



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