Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 4 October 2015

Jamie felt 'second-rate' to former lover Keira

By Andrea Clements

Published 27/02/2006

Ulster model Jamie Dornan has revealed how he felt "second-rate" to actress Keira Knightley - blaming the end of their romance on pressures associated with her fame.

Ulster model Jamie Dornan has revealed how he felt "second-rate" to actress Keira Knightley - blaming the end of their romance on pressures associated with her fame.

The former Methodist College pupil has also spoken about his grief over his mother's death when he was just 16 and says that his father, a top Belfast doctor, is now in remission after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

Speaking after it emerged that Keira (20), had fallen for her Pride and Prejudice co-star Rupert Friend, Jamie (23), has acknowledged that the huge discrepancy in their careers and earning power - she is tipped to earn more than £50m in the next few years - had caused irreconcilable tensions in their two-and-a-half year relationship.

"There is a big pressure when you go out with someone like Keira. You can feel a bit second-rate and that's what started to happen. It's not like I was bringing the bread to the table - and that can start to affect everything.

"The man is meant to be the Alpha in the relationship on the money and power front and clearly I was not. You feel you have to be dominant in other areas and that leads to problems," he told the Mail on Sunday.

"Keira could see what I was going through and it would have been better if I'd kept it hidden from her.

"It's a slow process, trying to be this Alpha Male."

Set to make his own acting debut as Marie Antoinette's love interest in Sofia Coppola's biopic of the French queen later this year, Jamie has admitted the separation last year still feels like a bereavement.

And he says that the sense of loss he feels is not helped by the grief he feels over the death of his mother from cancer.

"Losing Keira is a very different kind of grief. The strength I got from losing my mum isn't helping me deal with it. When you feel that you've lost someone, it's very hard."

The year after his mum died, Jamie was forced to deal with the tragic deaths of four of his friends in a car crash in Donegal.

"I got 14 months of dreadful things thrown at me," he said.

But he is philosophical about the illness of his father - Professor Jim Dornan, who is a consultant at Belfast's Royal Maternity Hospital.

"He's in remission," he said.

"He's alive and away in South Africa on a boys' trip.

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