Danniella Westbrook launches shock new career following cancer diagnosis

Danniella Westbrook

by Marianna Manson |
Updated on

Former EastEnder’s star Danniella Westbrook has announced a shock career change – she's moving into motivational speaking

The 45-year-old mum of two has had a turbulent relationship with class A substances, most notoriously being photographed with a hole in her nose from excessive drug use in 2000.

But a life-changing cancer diagnosis in 2018has lead her to re-evaluate her priorities and she says mental and physical health are at the top of her agenda – for herself and her two children, son Kai and daughter Jody.

Danniella made the shock announcement via Twitter, sharing the news with her 232k followers.

“I am launching my stage speaking career at Yes You Can Inspired to Achieve London Feb 2-3rd 'Danniella Westbrook Re-Discovered," she wrote.

"I'd love you to join me.

“I will be speaking on stage for the first time alongside 45 other Internationally Inspiring Speakers from around the World in front of an audience of over 1000 people per day.”

CHECK OUT Daniella Westbrook's transformation from fresh-faced soap queen teen to today


Daniella Westbrook transformation gallery

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Danniella Westbrook: 1990 - aged 16

Danniella played the character of Samantha Mitchell in Eastenders at a mere 16 years old.

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Danniella Westbrook: 1992 - aged 18

During the early 1990s, Danniella dated pop singer Brian Harvey, but the couple split in 1995.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Danniella Westbrook: 1998 - aged 24

In 1998, she attended the premiere of Anastasia with her first son Kai, who she had with her then-boyfriend Robert Fernandez in 1996.

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CREDIT: Alpha Press Agency

Danniella Westbrook: 2000 - aged 26

In 2000, Danniella returned to filming EastEnders, but the full extent of her drug problem came to light. As a result of her coke addiction, her nasal septum eroded and this infamous picture hit newspapers everywhere. She was checked into rehab the same year.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Danniella Westbrook: 2002 - aged 28

Danni, son Kai and new husband Kevin Jenkins - who Danni married in 2001. Danniella gave birth to Jody four months before marrying Kevin Jenkins.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Danniella Westbrook: 2002 - aged 28

In 2002, while Westbrook strutted her stuff in denim on the red carpet she was replaced as Sam Mitchell by Kim Medcalf in EastEnders.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Danniella Westbrook: 2003 - aged 29

A healthy looking Danniella was papped with her husband Kevin Jenkins in 2003.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Danniella Westbrook: 2003 - aged 29

In 2003, she took part in I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! However, she withdrew from the show after breaking down because she missed her children and husband.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Danniella Westbrook: 2004 - aged 30

Danni bounced back and attended the film premiere for Scary Movie 3 in 2004.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Danniella Westbrook: 2004 - aged 30

In 2004 she was snapped with both of her children, looking happy.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Danniella Westbrook: 2005 - aged 31

And in 2005 she showed the paps that she's still got it - the pose, that is.

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CREDIT: Amazon

Danniella Westbrook: 2006 - aged 32

In 2006, she released her autobiography which was an inspiring and powerful story.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Danniella Westbrook: 2009 - aged 35

In 2009, Eastenders reintroduced the character of Sam Mitchell and announced that Danni would be reprising the role.

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Danniella Westbrook: 2010 - aged 36

Danniella competed in the fifth series of Dancing on Ice in 2010, finishing in fourth place with professional skating partner Matthew Gonzalez.

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CREDIT: Lee Thompson

Danniella Westbrook: 2010 - aged 36

Later that year, she left the UK with her husband Kevin and two children Kai and Jody to live in California. She returned to the UK a year later in 2011, and became a born again Christian.

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CREDIT: Channel 4

Danniella Westbrook: 2012 - aged 38

In 2012 and 2013 Danni appeared in Hollyoaks playing Trudy Ryan.

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CREDIT: Twitter

Danniella Westbrook: 2014 - aged 40

In 2014, she split from her hubby Kevin Jenkins however here she is looking very happy with her son Kai.

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Danniella Westbrook: 2015 - aged 41

Danniella appeared on ITV's Loose Women in 2015, and opened up about her drug addiction and relapse. Talk about brave.

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CREDIT: Twitter

Danniella Westbrook: 2015 - aged 41

A post-gym selfie: in 2015 we saw a fresh-faced Danniella get into fitness and training.

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CREDIT: Channel 5

Danniella Westbrook: 2016 - aged 42

In February 2016, she took part in Celebrity Big Brother, where she made it to the final and finished in fifth place - the same year Geordie Shore's Scotty T won the show.

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CREDIT: Twitter / @westbrookdanni

Danniella Westbrook: 2016

The soap star turned CBB star is actually pals with Christopher Malone.The pair were friends for years however they had a falling out and Danniella opened up about their friendship before the both went on Celebrity Big Brother. She told The Sun: "Chris Maloney, we used to be very good friends.""I had a lot of issues with the guy I used to go out with after my marriage split up. The whole time through this Chris was sending him all the messages I was sending to him and giving him my phone number. I had a breakdown."However in the CBB house they kissed and made up and even got cosmetic surgery together in Poland.

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CREDIT: Twitter

Danniella Westbrook: 2016 - aged 42

In April 2016, Westbrook's hair stylist gave her the chop as she once again reprised her role as Sam Mitchell in Eastenders for four episodes which aired in July.

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CREDIT: Twitter

Danniella Westbrook: 2016 - aged 42

In 2016, she posted a picture of her with her new 23-year-old boyfriend, George Arnold.

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Danniella Westbrook: 2016 - aged 42

At the end of 2016, Danniella made a courageous appearance on ITV'S This Morning, admitting to her drug overdose and how she suffered from depression following her relapses.

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Danniella Westbrook: 2017 - aged 43

Danni made another appearance on Loose Women in 2017.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Danniella Westbrook: 2017 - aged 43

Just look at how much her son has grown!

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CREDIT: Twitter

Danniella Westbrook: 2017 - aged 43

In 2017, Danniella got engaged to new partner Alan Thompson. She fell pregnant in August with her third child, but tragically suffered from a miscarriage.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Danniella Westbrook: 2017 - aged 43

She was spotted leaving Boxing with the Stars in London in 2017.

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CREDIT: Twitter

Danniella Westbrook: 2017 - aged 43

After embarking on her DJing career in late 2016, Daniella posed with Brandon Block in 2017.

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CREDIT: Twitter

Danniella Westbrook: 2018 - aged 44

At the end of 2017, Daniella wished her fans a Happy New Year via Snapchat.

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CREDIT: Rex / Shutterstock

Daniella Westbrook: 2018

In 2018, Danniella confessed that her face is "rotting away" following botched plastic surgery and years of drug use. The TV star told The Mirror: "Obviously I'm going to age a lot faster anyway because of the drugs but I didn't need this as well."Some days I wake up and I'm so swollen and other days it can look really sunken..."She continued: "They [the doctors] need to take a piece of bone out of my skull and put a plate into my face, but they've got nothing to stick the plate on at the minute because the bones not strong enough. "They can start to rebuild it but I'll never look the same and it could make me look not very nice, even worse than I look now."Before she has corrective surgery, she's reportedly "drinking 12 pints of milk a day" to get her bones stronger.However, the EastEnders star then took to Twitter and slammed reports that her nose was rotting away, instead she said she suffered from osteoporosis.On the social media site, she wrote: "I said it's [nose] not rotting away & it's osteoporosis not drug use! I ACTUALLY GIVE UP!!! Photographer & make up artist witnessed whole interview. Y lie y screw me over!"

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Danniella Westbrook: 2019

In February 2019, Danni appeared on the Jeremy Kyle Show and admitted that cocaine was still very much part of her life. Jezza and the show offered to send her on a 12-week rehab course and the troubled star agreed to attend.

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Danniella Westbrook Loose Women

She added, “This Event is Going to EPIC. It's been created by Bradley Chapman BUSINESS &LIFE EMPOWERMENT."

Loyal fans of the star – many of whom have stood by her since she first rose to fame as a fresh faced 16 year old, playing EastEnders' Sam Mitchell – rushed to congratulate her on what she has described as “the greatest moment of [her] life”.

WATCH A look back at Katie Price's rocky year - divorce, toyboys and rehab

“All the best Daniella and Happy New Year,” wrote one commenter.

“Sounds amazing wish I could make it but all the best Danni,” said another.

Danniella has been honest in the past about her personal struggles with addicition – particularly the strain that being kept away from her daughter, Jody, put on her.

“Everyone thinks my lowest point was when I got seen with a hole in my nose," she told Loose Women panelists last year.

“But my lowest point has been the last four years and not having my daughter in my life, not having certain things in my life.

“I haven't dealt with it the right way, I haven't dealt with it the adult way," she continued.

"I have just used. All I've done is used."

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