Belfast Telegraph

Westbrook reveals 'car crash' life

Danniella Westbrook has told how she has been living in sheltered accommodation and relying on food banks.

After staying free from drugs for 13 years, the former EastEnders actress, 41, relapsed earlier this year.

She told This Morning that her life in recent months - beginning with the end of her marriage in January - had been "a car crash".

The mother-of-two said that her local council had placed her in "sheltered accommodation... which is like a bedsit".

She told the programme: "I've lost all my work. I was supposed to be in Torquay this Christmas in panto and as soon as I got exposed they called and said 'we can't possibly have her at our theatre'... and other work I had lined up I've lost, because I've relapsed."

Danniella said: "I've been really very lucky with friends of mine that supply me with a food delivery to the house to help us out.

"And I have been to food banks this year because we haven't had any money. It's been very difficult."

The actress said that when friend and TV presenter Jeff Brazier heard about her plight, he contacted her and offered her life coaching.

"We've got everything down on paper and he's helped me," she said.

"Just as a friend because he wants to help, and he said 'I can't offer you much, but let me do this and try and get you on the right track', and it's been amazing the help that he's given me."

Danniella tweeted about her situation, saying that she wanted to prevent others earning money by selling "exclusives" about her.

"I've had over 600 emails from people on Twitter, that I don't even know, that have said they've lost their home... thanking me for speaking about homelessness," she said.

"There are millions of people like me that are homeless at Christmas right now."

The actress - who rose to fame as Sam Mitchell in EastEnders - admitted: "Being a drug addict, you do bring a lot of stuff on yourself... I did relapse earlier this year, and I completely admit that. But I was clean for 13 years before that. I messed up. I'm a human being."

She said that discovering that so-called friends were selling stories about her had put her off working in the industry again.

"Ironically, I used to work for a homeless shelter the last three Christmases in Islington - and I'd rather go and do a course and work for my local borough and find funding and do stuff for people like that," she said.

"I've just had enough. People will always say 'she's an addict' so they won't employ me now, so it's tough."

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