Louise Redknapp has confirmed that she and her husband Jamie Redknapp are living apart.
The former Eternal singer, 42, said in an interview with The Telegraph’s Stella magazine that she still loves her “amazing” husband of almost 20 years but that it was time for her to get back to who she really is after years of pleasing others.
Redknapp said she felt she had become “a sort of Stepford Wife” and that things started to change when she appeared on Strictly Come Dancing last year.
She said: “I feel I’m coming back to who I really am. I have spent most of my life pleasing everyone else, worrying about being judged and thinking I should always do the right thing by staying at home, looking after my kids and my husband. I lost myself.
“I think this happens to a lot of women when they get married and have children. You have this feeling deep inside you, ‘Where did I go?’ But I pushed those thoughts away.
“I’d think of my past life as a pop star as being ‘not reality’. Looking after the house and my family was my reality.
“I became a sort of Stepford Wife, wanting to be perfect at it.”
The star said her turn on the Strictly dance floor gave her back her zest for performing.
“I didn’t want to continue running around after everyone else, and occasionally promoting a yogurt or doing a little TV presenting job,” she said.
“I wanted to sing, I wanted to perform. I wanted to go back to work on a stage in front of an audience.
“I actually felt physically sick at the idea that I’d never have that buzz again, that fulfilment I get from performing. And that is when the shit hit the fan. No one could understand why it was so desperately important to me.”
She continued: “I loved the dancing. I loved being pushed to see what I could do.
“I loved that incredible camaraderie, the laughs, the nerves, the excitement, the audience.
“Sometimes I felt like crying because deep down inside me this voice was screaming, ‘This is what I have been missing!'”
The Redknapps, who tied the knot in 1998, have two sons together.
The singer, who is now appearing on stage in a production of Cabaret, said the pair still speak every day.
She said of her husband: “It’s so hard because I love him. He’s an amazing man and we’ve had 20 good years together.
“I know he’s trying to understand that I do need to do this.
“People might look at me and think I’ve got everything, but a sweeping staircase and designer handbag doesn’t really do it for me.”
She said it is “being fulfilled, being true to yourself, following your passion” that make a person happy.
“I have no idea what is going to happen, all I know is that I fought for this, it’s taken everything, but this is something I need to do – for me,” she said.