Charlotte Church talks impact of fame on family

Charlotte Church's mother "had a nervous breakdown" after the singer left home.

The 33-year-old star shot to fame when she was just 11 years old and admitted the scrutiny her entire household came under led to a lot of "stress and pressure" and ultimately sparked a rift which saw the 'Crazy Chick' hitmaker move out at 16 and not speak to her mum Maria for more than 18 months.

Charlotte said: "I don't think anything went wrong it was just like a pressure cooker... there was a couple of kidnap plots when I was a kid, a whole load of stress and pressure, we were living in each other's pockets."

Maria - who has bipolar disorder - added in a joint interview on UK TV show 'This Morning': "When Charlotte left home, it was very, very brutal and very sudden, she broke my heart, I ended up having a nervous breakdown."

Explaining she is now having therapy, she added: "It's early days but I'm trying to do something about it now, I've always suffered with mental health issues, mine are quite complex."

And Maria, 53, thinks things would have been even worse if she and her family had moved to London to capitalise on Charlotte's success.

She said: "We stayed in Cardiff which was really important, if I'd have moved her to London, I think that glitz lifestyle could have got the better of us, but we always went back to our roots."

And Charlotte - who has children Ruby, 12, and Dexter, 10, with former partner Gavin Henson and is married to Jonathan Powell - only fully understood the impact of fame on Maria and her stepfather James when she watched back her new documentary, 'Charlotte Church: My Family and Me'.

She said: "To watch it back it made me understand mum a bit more, in a way I didn't think was possible. To really understand what that success cost my mum and dad and how insane it must have been to have gone through that."