She’s managed to turn her life around after years of suffering with depression and issues with her bipolar disorder.
But despite beating her demons, Kerry Katona, 41, has been left in turmoil after a series of traumatic events – and pals say she has been leaning heavily on fiancé Ryan Mahoney to get her through and is now more determined than ever to marry him this year.
The singer broke down in tears on social media after telling fans she’d had her car stolen on a Christmas shopping trip with youngest daughters Heidi, 14, and Dylan-Jorge (DJ), seven, who she said were left “crying and screaming” as thieves drove off with £300- worth of presents in the boot.
Just days later, the family was hit by more misery after Ryan’s car was stolen from their driveway, leaving Kerry feeling “paranoid” and insiders saying she fears she was being watched.
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The dramas came on top of a difficult festive period for the family as Covid infections left them unable to celebrate together properly.
A source tells Closer, “It’s been a really hard couple of weeks for Kerry. She’s been stable and in a great place for so long, but the past few weeks have really threatened that. She felt so in control of her life and happiness, but things have happened that have rocked her because they were totally out of her control.”
Kerry posted an emotional video last month during which she revealed she felt “targeted” and “violated” after her car was stolen from outside a shop in Oldham, which is being investigated by police.
“I feel absolutely violated. The kids are really shook up, it was horrible,” Kerry told followers while fighting back tears.
While most fans sent sympathetic messages to the mum-of-five about the theft of the £110,000 Range Rover – which bears the number plate KA17 ONA – others cruelly hit out at Kerry, accusing her of staging a “scam”. The car had previously been offered as a prize in a raffle and was to be delivered to the winner in March – which led to critics questioning if they would receive a refund on their £30 tickets.
Kerry addressed the fan backlash, saying, “I’ve had some vile comments about the raffle and saying it’s convenient and I just hope to god nothing like that ever happens to you because it was awful... I really wanted to change somebody’s life with the car. We’ll see if we get it back.”
Kerry later posted how the event had been “triggering” and brought back painful memories from her past of a shocking burglary in 2007, where three masked men entered her house and held her and daughter Heidi, who was a baby at the time, at knife-point in a downstairs bathroom.
The source adds, “Because of those awful memories, Kerry felt really traumatised after her car was stolen as it reminded her of that burglary. And having Ryan’s car targeted on their own driveway so soon afterwards was a major shock. She’s worried that she may have been watched and followed, which is a horrifying thought for her. She’s had trouble sleeping as she’s scared of what could happen next. At one point, she felt so afraid that she didn’t want to leave the house.”
Days later, Kerry received more bad news when her eldest daughter Molly, 20 – who lives in Ireland with her grandparents where she is studying – tested positive for Covid just hours before she was due to fly home to spend Christmas with her mum and other siblings – Lilly-Sue, 18, Heidi, Max, 13, and DJ.
Personal trainer Ryan, 33, also tested positive, and then Kerry – whose mum Sue had also contracted the virus – came down with Covid, forcing her to cancel her pantomime performance in Sleeping Beauty at Oldham’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and “push through Christmas for the kids”, despite feeling “physically and emotionally exhausted”.
“She was really upset when she contracted Covid. DJ wanted to hug her and she couldn’t and it was heartbreaking for her,” the source says.
But despite the strain of the last few weeks, the insider says Ryan has been helping her to stay positive and strong to stop her spiralling.
In the past, she has struggled when things have gone badly – checking herself into rehab for depression in 2008, and again in 2010 to help cure her booze and drug addiction.
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The source says, “Ryan has been her total rock – he’s been reassuring her, comforting her, talking to her about all the positives in their lives, and reminding her she is safe. He has also worked with her to install extra security around their home to give her peace of mind. They have cameras and people patrolling the house 24/7. They’ve spent thousands, but they both agree they can’t put a price on feeling safe.
“It’s done wonders for Kerry and really helped her feel much safer and to pick herself back up. If this had happened a few years ago, it could have derailed her and left her feeling really low. But Ryan’s support has helped her stay strong. It’s a new year and there are exciting things to come.”
The source adds that the recent events have made Kerry and Ryan – who got engaged in 2020 while on holiday in Spain – stronger than ever, but that they are still unsure about a wedding date due to the pandemic.
The source says, “Kerry is excited to marry Ryan, but she’s seen friends have to postpone their weddings multiple times, and she says she doesn’t want to set a date until she knows for certain it’ll go ahead. She’s hoping it could be the second half of the year, but she’s happy taking her time, so they’re playing it by ear at the moment. They can’t wait for the day they finally do tie the knot.”