Billie Piper has recalled an incident in 2000 where she collapsed in a club in Covent Garden, and was “carried out” by Kylie Minogue’s fiancé.
In a new story written for Elle about mental health issues, Piper discussed the incident, and how it led to “a very active eating disorder”.
“It was 2000 when I passed out in a Covent Garden club – “foaming at the mouth”, apparently, but I have no reason to believe that,” she wrote. “Bit inflammatory, bit hysterical 1990s eyewitness.
“My PR rang through to my hospital bed to fill in some blanks – I’d been carried out of the club by a man, apparently,” she added. “A hero or a pest? I wondered. It’s always hard to tell. (Later, I’d find out his name is Paul, like my dad. He’s Welsh, works at GQ and will, in time, become a dear friend, a blinding success and Kylie Minogue’s fiancé. Hero, not pest. Kylie knows.)
“My “dramatic turn” – as I liked to call it – was a result of days of Diet Cokes and Marlboro Lights fuelling a very active eating disorder, cystitis that crept up my back and into my kidneys, a goblet of sweet white wine and a mind and body dissociation that I feared for the very first time.”
Piper added: “Following that sojourn in hospital, my mother dragged me to a local therapist. I took immediate offence when the therapist asked me if my not eating was because I wanted to be a boy. Ridiculous, I thought. I left.
“I think about that comment a lot. Maybe I did want to be a boy. Maybe we all did on some level. Or maybe she was shit at her job. In any case, that was the end of therapy for me. Until I was 34.”
Discussing her relationship with mental health now, Piper said she is “still drawn into behaviours I wish I’d been cured of” but sees awareness of the issues as the key.
“Working on my mental health is about awareness,” she said. “Being aware when I’m behaving in a certain way or being overly critical of myself or living for someone else. The change is awareness. I wish it could be more fantastical than that, but the reality is that it just isn’t.”
Back in 2018, Piper reflected on her early career in an interview, saying she was “oversexualised” in a period she referred to as “sanctioned pimping”.
“I find the abuse of power really upsetting,” she said of the MeToo movement. “If I’m honest what I find really sickening is all the agents subjecting their clients to it, knowing full well what’s going on. Like sanctioned pimping. I think that’s why, for so long, my desire to hide my body in baggy clothes took hold.”