Friday 19 October 2018

'It was like a switch went off in her head and she went mad - she was furious' - Lucy Kennedy on living with Danniella Westbrook

Daniella Westbrook and Lucy Kennedy on Living with Lucy, TV3, 10pm Tuesday
Daniella Westbrook and Lucy Kennedy on Living with Lucy, TV3, 10pm Tuesday
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Lucy Kennedy has revealed that ex-Eastenders star Danniella Westbrook was the most difficult person she has ever lived with.

Lucy spent three days in Danniella's company in July and although she says the actress is a "lovely person" but "to live with she was very hard work".

"Danni is an interesting character, very funny, clearly a very good actress and at times she's very easy going but I found over all she was difficult to live with," Lucy tells Independent.ie

"I'm very mindful though that she has bi-polar and she told me she has schizophrenia and in recent weeks she has had a very sad time with miscarrying etc so she has had a lot to deal with."

At one point a boat trip they had planned to take together for filming had to be cancelled due to choppy weather and Danniella reacted very badly.

"She's very paranoid," reveals Lucy.  "All the boat trips were cancelled, not just ours, and she suddenly started getting really paranoid about us and saying it was 'strange' the way it was cancelled, and 'why was it cancelled' and this big deal was made about this boat trip.  It was totally unnecessary. It was totally down to the weather."

The crew organised for the boat company representative to come and explain the situation to the actress.

"It was like a switch went off in her head and she went mad," adds Lucy.  "She was furious about the whole thing and kept on saying we were being contrived and we were planning something to make her look bad.  I was saying, 'Danni you've got to calm down - it's a boat trip'.  But she is bi-polar and she told me she has schizophrenia so she has a lot to contend with in her own head."

Despite the mood swings, Lucy said Danni was also very nice and "at times she was very, very funny".  She adds, "She clearly has as big heart, which I could see.  She is a very caring person.  She has empathy and she's very warm with strangers."

Lucy says she did not have any reservations about living with Danniella just as she did not have any reservations about living with Katie Hopkins.

"I give everybody a chance," she says.  "It's very easy to make up your mind about what somebody is like from reading a magazine or a newspaper article.  I've read plenty about myself over the years that just quite simply isn't true.  It's very hard to judge somebody in a 10-15 minute interview on the Late Late Show or whatever it is whereas in 72 hours of living with someone that's where you get to know them.  And I think you get a really good insight into Danni's life."

Despite the beautiful setting, filming the episode was "exhausting" but she did have some help with dealing with Dani in the form of Danni's friend Ryan who flew over from the UK.

"I think Danni is very insecure and, like a lot of people who have been in this business a long time - don't forget she's a child star - I would imagine over the years she's been hurt, let down, she's had stories sold about her that aren't true, she has a stalker in real life - I've seen some of the messages - so she has a lot to contend with.  Her friend was security for her I think."

Ryan mediated when things became heated.  "He would soften my blow" says Lucy.

Although Lucy keeps in touch with most of the people she has lived with from Sarah Harding to Kerry Katona to Michael Healy Rae, she will not be keeping in contact with Danniella.  She told the actress that she believes she should move back to the UK and get an acting agent as she's an "amazing actress".

"I love Marbella but that lifestyle she's living there is that party life, surrounded by temptation," says Lucy.  "I don't know if she's got any real friends there."

She adds, "I cared about her.  I genuinely care about people and I will always try to find the good in people and help people but Danni didn't want to hear it.  I think she needs to find it out herself.  I don't think she can see that Marbella is the wrong place for her.  I can see it.  The people around her can see it. She can't."

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