Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

It's time to lay off Katie Price and Harvey

Loving mum:  Katie Price
Loving mum: Katie Price

Katie Price may be a bit of a chav. And she may be a fearsome publicity seeker. And Queen of the Z-listers.

But that doesn't mean that she is beyond the reaches of common decency. You'd think that following the horror of Frankie Boyle's repellent 'joke' about Price and her disabled son Harvey, people would avoid mentioning the boy in the name of entertainment.

But alas ...

Step forward former Wonderbra model Katie Green. Appearing on Loaded TV's late night Looser Women (things beginning to fall into place?), Green mouthed off that Harvey's problems were due to Price taking a lot of drugs during her pregnancy: "I heard from someone very close to her that she took so many drugs when Harvey was in her stomach."

I heard from someone ... trial by TV, how are ye? Yes, Price is no shrinking violet. Yes, she can come across as crass and vulgar. And, yes, she is a publicity addict. But none of that means she isn't entitled to be treated as a human being.

Price immediately hit back at the comments, denouncing them as a "vile lie" and pointing out that Harvey's condition is genetic. Such attitudes, she added, make life worse for parents of disabled children who are "often consumed with guilt".

Whether you view Katie Price as a strange post-modern feminist icon, cute businesswoman or a symptom of everything that is wrong in modern society, there's no doubt she is a protective and loving mum to Harvey. What she certainly is not is some kind of subspecies of human being – one who it is perfectly ok to get stuck into for no reason at all.

Green's cheap shot was hideously offensive and incredibly hurtful. The world is rough and mean, but there are limits. Comments about Harvey's disabilities are simply dirty pool. Just because you have a few minutes airtime to fill and an empty head doesn't mean that you are above the common decencies.

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