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Billie Piper: I had to ‘fall apart’ in my twenties

Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent
·2-min read

Billie Piper has said she needed to “fall apart” in her 20s.

The actress, now 38, shot to fame as a teenage singer and married DJ Chris Evans when she was 18, separating three years later.

She told Red magazine: “My 20s were quite wild, and that was likely to be a reaction to (teenage years spent) working all the hours that God sent, being very performative and treated sort of like a flashy sales girl, a really young one.

“I really needed to fall apart in that sort of reckless 20s way.

“To not care about looking put-together every waking moment of my life or saying the wrong things as a role model to children.”

Billie Piper and husband Chris Evans
Billie Piper and Chris Evans (Yui Mok/PA)

The Rare Beasts director and actress said she had issues in previous relationships “from being on my own a lot when I was very young”.

It left her with an “extreme desire to feel loved and safe”, she added.

“I’ve (since) learned about attachment issues and co-dependency, which I never saw as a problem, until I did that work on myself,” she said.

Piper, whose second husband was actor Laurence Fox, said she does not know the “key” to the success of her current relationship with musician Johnny Lloyd.

“Part of me doesn’t ever just want to see it as this rational thing where I’m making sure I have date night on a Wednesday, although I think there are merits in doing that.

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“But the thought immediately makes me feel a bit heavy-hearted and bored. I don’t know if I can ever really be fully practical and healthy around love.

“I think dedicating your life to pursuing happiness is not that helpful and you’re likely to be disappointed a lot.

“(Happiness) is fleeting, but when it’s happening, I like to be fully conscious of it and sit with it for as long as I can.

“In the past, people would say, ‘Just go for a walk or look at the stream or watch the way the trees move’, and I was so judgmental of that advice. Now, I realise it really does the trick.”

The April issue of Red is on sale from March 4.