Kate and Rio Ferdinand’s love story got a very happy ending, but it wasn’t always plain sailing.
Former TOWIE star Kate admitted last year that she once walked out on the ex-footballer and moved back to her Essex flat after going through an “incredibly difficult time”.
Kate, 29, opened up about the struggle she went through after moving in with Rio and his three kids, Lorenz, 14, Tate, 12, and Tia, nine, who he shared with his late wife.
And as Rio mourned the loss of his mum Janice, two years after the death of his wife Rebecca, Kate explained how it all became too much for her.
She told You magazine last year: “I cried every single day for a year when I first moved in with Rio. It was an incredibly difficult time…
“Nothing in the house was mine; everyone called it ‘Rio’s house’.
“All the photographs were of Rebecca and the children. I had no place. I remember after six months becoming obsessed with wanting Molton Brown Rhubarb & Rose soap that I always have at home, just to have a smell I knew.
“I bought a bottle and put it downstairs but it got taken away. As stupid as it sounds, that crushed me, but what was making me feel more isolated was if I said those things out loud people would think I was pathetic and selfish.”
Kate went on: “I lost myself. I felt as though I was acting all the time, trying to smile and learn to cook and be this perfect woman.
“When I’d cook something, someone would say, ‘Rebecca didn’t do it like that’, and I’d smile but inside I’d feel crushed.”
Thankfully, Kate and Rio worked things out and got the happy ending they both deserved.
They got married in 2019, with Rio’s kids playing a huge part in the wedding.
Kate became a loving stepmother to the children, and the way their relationship blossomed was captured in moving BBC documentary Rio and Kate: Becoming A Step Family.
Rio, 42, credits filming the documentary for helping them talk through their issues.
He said: “I realised that if I wanted to make it work, we needed help. And doing another documentary could help us by finding answers.”
“There ain’t no manual on how to be a step-mum,” Rio said in the doc as Kate confessed that all she wanted was for the kids to be happy.
While the couple never share pictures where the children’s faces are visible, they often give fans an insight into their beautiful family life together.
Then in 2020, they welcomed their first child together, a baby boy named Cree.
The family pulled together for the newborn when Kate’s emergency C-section left her unable to even pick him up.
She recently told the Mirror : “I think you have a baby and you expect to be able to do everything and care for that baby fully, and if you have unexpected surgery that’s something you can’t do and it’s quite hard to get your head around.
“I struggled with that. I felt guilty that I couldn’t do certain things, but I’m doing it all now.
“Everyone said, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll be doing it all in no time’, and they’re right, there was no need to worry, but when you’re in it, you want to look after your new baby and your family and do everything you’d normally do and it’s quite difficult if you can’t.”
Kate said that seeing her stepchildren dote on their baby brother has been “really special”.
She said: “[Rio] has always been a hands on dad with all of the kids.
“Obviously I had an emergency C-section and couldn’t do much, and he and the children helped me so much and have been amazing, more than what I expected.
“It’s just sort of unexpected. I’m someone who likes to prepare for everything, I’m very organised, I used to be a PA, so when you go into labour and you have something unexpected, obviously it could happen, it just throws you a little bit.
“And it did throw me off a little bit to be honest with you.”
And speaking about her happy blended family, Kate said: “I think love is love at the end of the day.
“There are so many people in different situations and some are in them because of unfortunate events, so to be in a happy family that all love each other, that’s all that matters really.
“Tia is a very good big sister, she helps me lots with the baby and running around and doing little bits.
“To be honest all of the kids are, they’re all amazing with the baby. It’s like three extra pairs of hands, apart from when there’s a pooey nappy.”
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