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Drugs Slurs Nearly Gave Me A Breakdown

BILLIE - Drugs and abortion slurs nearly gave me breakdown


14 May 2000 Mirror Group Ltd.

TEEN pop princess Billie has revealed how she was brought to the brink of a nervous breakdown by vicious gossips.

She was shattered by cruel lies that she was hopelessly hooked on drugs and booze - and had needed an abortion.

The chart-topping stunner spoke yesterday as she reeled from ANOTHER blow - being dumped by her lover Ritchie Neville, 20, of boy band Five.

Tearful Billie, 17, said after Ritchie returned from a South American tour and ended their 15-month relationship: "I am sad but we haven't seen much of each other recently because we both have incredibly busy lives. We are determined to stay as friends."

Despite the crushing setbacks, brave Billie is determined to bounce back - and is releasing a new single Night And Day tomorrow.

In an exclusive and candid interview with the Sunday People, she told how she was only 16 when vile rumours started circulating.

She said: "All the offensive talk broke me. I spent hours crying on the phone to my mum.

"The rumours hurt me and shocked my system badly. I've gone through so much and still don't trust anyone apart from my family."

Billie, who took a year out of her career because of the stress, said: "Rumours were going around that I got pregnant and had an abortion.

"The claims were a real shock. Abortion is up to the individual but it's not something that has happened to me.

"Spiteful people also said I was taking drugs. It was ridiculous. I had a stomach infection which kept me from work for a few weeks."

The star, whose full name is Billie Piper, added: "To hear such malicious things about you when you are just 16 is very difficult. I've come in for so much abuse."

Billie was 15 when her first record Because We Want To hit No 1 in 1998.

The pressure of fame was already telling on her before the rumours and she suffered mood swings.

Billie, whose parents, brother and two sisters live in Winchester, Hants, said: "My life was running at a fast pace. All I wanted was for people to love me.

"One day I would be fine and the next I'd sink low again. I'm naturally a worrier and this affected my sleep pattern badly. I cried a lot."

Billie confided that she finds Prince William "cute, charming and attractive" - and thinks her ordeal has given her an insight into his life in the public gaze.

Now, despite being dumped by her lover, she is concentrating on her career and looking forward to her 18th birthday in September.

She said: "I can't wait. But I already have a much more balanced outlook. I'm showing people who Billie Piper really is."