SHE normally lives her life at 100 miles an hour, but this third pregnancy has finally slowed Myleene Klass down.
“Yep, I’m in third gear at the moment,” she says. “It takes the family to get me out of bed in the morning. Just to move me at all, actually. I think the size I am now is the same I was with Hero full term.”
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Myleene, 41, is embracing every minute of it though, because not so long ago she’d have thought this inconceivable.
In fact, it’s almost impossible to reconcile this pregnant goddess with the tearful, broken woman who sat before us in 2013, 12 months on from her life having been turned upside down.
Back then she was desperately trying to hold it together for the sake of her daughters Ava and Hero, who were just four and one when her marriage and 10-year relationship with celebrity security manager Graham Quinn broke down. Her faith in love had been shattered and she was terrified about what the future held.
“Fabulous has been through every single life stage with me,” she says.
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“It’s incredible really, and to be having this chat with you today is quite momentous. Every time I need a therapy session, I just come and do a Fabulous cover!
“But so many people have been on this journey with me. So many women can tell the same story, which is very sad, but at the same time it’s very hopeful.”
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Meeting PR exec Simon Motson, who she calls Sim, four years ago changed everything. He was going through a divorce and had two children the same age as Ava and Hero, now 11 and eight, from his marriage.
Myleene talks cheerfully about the noise and chaos of their very happy blended family and says that this baby, due in August and affectionately known as Snoop, has already forged an even tighter bond between them.
“We were having dinner with all the children and Sim stood up and said: ‘I’ve got an announcement to make for our little blended family. We’re going to have a seventh member…’ And they all just stopped eating.
Then he said: ‘…because Leenie’s pregnant,’ and they all jumped up and started hugging and it was amazing, so lovely. They took the roof off. They were so happy.”
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The couple know the sex of the baby and have shared it with the children, but have decided not to tell anyone else.
“We thought it would be nice for them to know. It’s something they could have between them and they’ve done really well keeping it secret.”
Although both Myleene and Sim, 45, knew early on that they’d fallen for each other, they were determined not to rush into anything for the sake of their four children. They took extreme care navigating the early stages of the relationship and the kids weren’t introduced until they’d been dating for a year.
“We took it really seriously. It was a big change for the girls when they’d had four years of just me. But it’s been very special to watch how the children cope with it and letting them be free to love.
“I explained to the girls – and to Sim’s son and daughter as well – that love is like a big bucket. Nobody needs to come out in order to put someone else in – the bucket just keeps on expanding. Just chuck ’em all in! It’ll be exactly the same when the baby comes, just another one in the bucket.”
By the time Myleene met Sim on a blind date set up by a mutual friend, she’d built a fortress around herself and the girls. She was desperate to shield them from any more hurt and says it was always going to take someone special to break those barriers down.
“They’ve gone through a tough old time, I can’t deny that. It was always going to take a very strong and remarkable man to infiltrate the Klass girls’ circle, because what me and the girls built together, I would say was nigh on impenetrable.
“I built a ring of steel around us to protect them from everything. And the thing is, Sim didn’t come in breaking down the circle – far from it – he actually came in and strengthened it. He earned my trust. He earned their trust. He wasn’t forceful with anything, he just showed us love and what love was.”
Does that mean she’d not felt real love before? Myleene is always cautious not to discuss her ex directly, but it’s clear everything about this relationship is different.
“I hadn’t got a clue before what love looked like. I remember I used to long for sleep, but not because I needed to sleep, I just needed peace. I didn’t want aggro, the worries, the wondering, the second-guessing myself all the time. Horrible.
“And so now, to wake up in the morning and just reach out to Sim and just feel him there… it’s a lovely feeling.
“We go to bed laughing. And that’s a really nice thing, because I’ve done enough crying. I’ve done enough soul-searching. It’s nice to feel so comfortable and content and not questioning everything.”
And then she stops for a second. “I’m not giving him all the credit by the way,” she says with a smile. “A lot of people say: ‘Did he save you?’ Well no, actually. I saved myself because I had to.
“And my girls saved me as well. There were definitely times in my life where I thought: ‘Have I got the strength to do this?’ And then I’d go and give them a kiss goodnight and see their little faces and somehow get another power shot and be like: ‘OK, I can go again.’”
She admits she was wholly reluctant to go along to that blind date with Sim at all. It almost ended in disaster before it had even begun, when Myleene turned up at the wrong bar and thought she’d been stood up.
Thankfully, she was able to hot-foot it across London and she says her doubts instantly eased as soon as she clapped eyes on him.
It was always going to take a remarkable man to make me trust again
“I just walked into the bar and there was his ginormous smile and I was like: ‘That’s it.’ He wasn’t trying to be cool. He wasn’t trying to overcompensate in any way and we talked and talked and became the first date cliché where we emptied the bar.
“I was so mistrusting of guys, but my friend had said: ‘You need to meet him.’ I said: ‘Not until I know he’s a good guy.’ I didn’t want someone who’d walked out on their family.”
It didn’t take long for Myleene to realise that Sim is one of the good guys.
“He makes me laugh, he’s funny, he’s kind, he’s super-intelligent, he’s super-gorgeous. He’s my best friend with benefits,” she hoots. “We’re best friends who f**k! We have a very honest, very open, fun relationship. That’s all I’ve ever wanted, but I never knew it was possible. I never knew to wish for him. I said to him: ‘I just never knew men like you existed,’ and he said he’d put that on a T-shirt.
“Even though we have lots of challenges thrown in our direction and we’ve got to navigate four different schools’ times and all the things that come with being a blended family, it just feels easy.”
Myleene recently posted a video of Ava reading a poem she’d written to pay tribute to her mum on Mother’s Day (“My mum is both my mum and dad, my hashtag number one, my inspiration, role model, the source of all my fun”) and Sim as well (“He makes mama so happy and drives me to my dance, he also taught me and Hero to give father figures another chance”), which showed how much of a “unit” they’ve all become.
Book you read
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, my favourite ever book. And also The Places You’ll Go by Dr Seuss. It’s a kids’ book, but my PT read it to his class and said it’s the best self-help book he’d ever read.
Boxset you watched
We’re watching loads of Black Mirror at the mo because I’m the last person to the party.
Time you cried
Probably about a minute ago. Through this whole interview.
Time you lost your temper
I’m trying to stay really calm at the minute. But when somebody took the parking space that I was backing into and then put their head out the window and said: “See, it’s Pure And Simple,” that made me mad.
Time you were drunk?
About a million years ago. Probably my 40th.
Movie you watched
The Wife with Glenn Close. Holy s**t, it’s good.
“Oh, my children adore him. They absolutely love him. We are a family. There is absolute madness at my house and it’s brilliant. They wake up in the morning and the noise is off the scale, but they all really love each other and I really count myself as hugely fortunate. This was never something I thought would be a part of my life. But we’ve all embraced it. I thought I knew what was best for me, but the universe had other ideas.”
She says that Sim wants more babies after this one – straight away if possible.
“Oh my god, he loves me pregnant,” she laughs. “If Sim has his way, we’ll have another one immediately. I mean, I always wanted a big family. He wants a big family. Nobody will ever invite us anywhere ever again!”
In typical fashion, Myleene is planning on working up to the wire with her weekend radio shows on Smooth and Classic FM (she went into labour with Ava while hosting The One Show and with Hero while driving herself to a business meeting). She is also currently developing a new venture with her best friend and manager around celebrity branding. Plus her My K baby collection for Mothercare, which launched 12 years ago and is now in 30 countries, is, she points out, the longest-standing celebrity range in the UK.
From the moment she won a place in pop band Hear’Say on Popstars back in 2001, longevity was always the goal.
“I was the original influencer,” she says. “I’m so proud of that.
“I think anyone can do a quick run, it’s the marathon that is the challenge. It might be the classical musician in me. You do have to stay with it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the three-minute pop song, but sometimes you just have to stick with it a bit longer.”
I don’t give a s**t about anything anyone says any more
She’s always instilled in Ava and Hero the importance of financial independence.
“I say it to my girls: ‘Don’t you ever take jewels out of your crown to make somebody else feel more like a king,’ and they look at me like: ‘Eugh, of course!’ We live in a hugely feminist household, so they already know.
“It’s nice to meet a man who’s not intimidated by what status I have or the job I do or my earning potential. It’s not something we discuss.”
Ask her how the twists and turns and turbulence of life have shaped her over the last eight years and Myleene is unequivocal.
“I believe in my decisions now. I don’t take s**t any more. I’m a really tired, hard-working mum and there are a lot of people with a lot of opinions about how I should do things, who I should be, what I should wear, what I should say. I mean, it’s never-ending. Where are your children? Why aren’t they with you? Why are they with you?
“And honestly, I don’t give a s**t about anything anybody says. If it doesn’t affect my family directly, it doesn’t affect me.”
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She jokes that everyone feels they’ve got “ownership” of the pregnancy given how much she’s been through to get here. She’s said in the past that her heartache made people realise she was human and her life was far from perfect. It made her relatable.
“I was made from Popstars and the I’m A Celebrity! jungle because the public picked up the phone, and it’s quite a journey I’ve taken them on. I could be their daughter, I could be their sister, so I do feel like I’ve got the ultimate cheerleading squad behind me.
“Everybody knows somebody who has gone through a right old tumultuous time and I guess people like a survivor. “I never say die.”
- Myleene’s spring range for Mothercare My K is available in stores nationwide
- Hair: Lisa Laudat at Eighteen Management using L’Oréal Pureology
- Make-up: Karin Darnell at Frank Agency using Mac
- Styling: Nana Acheampong