Charlotte Church opens up about brutally 'cutting ties' with her family at just 16

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Charlotte Church opened up about why she “cut ties” with her family when she was just 16 years old.

Speaking candidly on Kate Garraway’s Life Stories, the 35-year-old singer admitted that after she severed contact with her family, her mum had a nervous breakdown.

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Charlotte revealed that she ran away from home after an argument with her mum Maria, who had caught her smoking.

“As far as I was concerned, I needed to be free. I had to be a specific way for a long time and all of the normal ways in which we grow and how puberty happens and how girls become women were stifled and I felt I had to be this eternally young, innocent, little girl. That’s not where, literally, biological life was taking me.

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Charlotte Church opens up about brutally 'cutting ties' with her family at just 16
© ITV Charlotte said she wanted ‘freedom’ when she was younger

She told Kate: “I just had to cut the ties. I was at an age where I knew everything, I knew better. I knew what I was doing. They were just trying to protect me but I saw that as them holding me too tight and so I just did what I felt I needed to do at the time.”

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But Charlotte realised the loss that she had created in her life and reached out to her estranged mum Maria, who owns a B&B.

“It’s only with hindsight that I knew just what it meant to my mum. It felt like they’d completely lost me and this whole life that we’d built together, this thing that we’d been doing together for the last four years, that was gone,” she said.

Charlotte Church opens up about brutally 'cutting ties' with her family at just 16
© Press Association Maria, Charlotte’s mum, suffered a nervous breakdown after Charlotte left

The show, which was presented by Piers Morgan until recently when Kate stepped into his shoes, played a video of Maria who spoke about the relationship she had with her daughter.

“I was very, very hurt because I tried to speak to her and she just didn’t want to know.

“I felt loss, I felt isolated. I just totally shut down. I had a nervous breakdown. For months and months, I couldn’t get out of bed. I was devastated,” she admitted.

Charlotte Church opens up about brutally 'cutting ties' with her family at just 16
© ITV Charlotte Church was Mushroom on The Masked Singer

“When Charlotte left home, it was very, very brutal and very sudden, she broke my heart, I ended up having a nervous breakdown.

Maria, who is still in therapy said: “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.”

Maria and Charlotte’s stepdad James were isolated from their daughter for nearly two years.

Charlotte added: “I totally understand now what they went through and how difficult it was for them but for me, I was 16 and the world was my oyster and I was also having a load of fun.”

Speaking of her mum, she said: “I think that she is fire and like a phoenix, she has risen from the flames.

Maria, who was watching in the audience told Charlotte: “‘I love you. I love her, I’m so proud of her, we’ve been through so much… I love her to bits, I love her billions and billions.”

Charlotte shot to fame when she was just 11 years old after she sang Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Pie Jesu” over the phone on This Morning in 1997.

Charlotte Church opens up about brutally 'cutting ties' with her family at just 16
© ITV Charlotte called her home environment a ‘pressure cooker’

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She then sang her heart out on ITV‘s Big, Big Talent Show in 1997 where she was branded “Voice of an Angel”.

But the early taste of fame put “stress and pressure” on Charlotte and her family – which created a “pressure cooker” environment for them all.

The Crazy Chick hitmaker’s interview will air on Life Stories tonight at 9pm on ITV and ITV Hub.

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