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BOOZE BATTLE Ex-RTE star Michelle Heaton enters rehab after turning to alcohol to cope following surgery

The former Liberty X singer and star, who previously underwent a complete hysterectomy and double mastectomy in a bid to reduce her risk of getting cancer, struggled during lockdown.

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Former singer Michelle Heaton has checked in to rehab after turning to alcohol to help cope with health problems.

A spokesperson for the ex-RTÉ star confirmed the news, saying: “She has the love and support of her family and friends.”

The 41-year-old rose to fame when she made it to the finals of Popstars in 2001 and went on to join chart-topping band Liberty X until their split in 2007.

She also appeared as a judge on Irish talent competition You’re A Star from 2007-2008 and competed on RTÉ’s Fáilte Towers.

In 2012, Michelle underwent a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery after being diagnosed with a mutated BRCA2 that put her in danger of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

The mum-of-two also had a complete hysterectomy and oophorectomy to remove her womb and ovaries in 2015.

An insider told The Sun that the singer had been struggling with the effects of her operations during lockdown and turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism before entering a rehabilitation facility on Wednesday.

“Michelle was left feeling like she had lost so much of what made her a woman and when she went into early menopause that brought with it a whole other collection of problems,” the source revealed.

“She was just about coping when lockdown hit last year, but the effect of being at home and being unable to distract herself, saw her hit rock bottom.

“She realised she needed to get help when she’d increasingly turned to alcohol as a crutch as she couldn’t cope with the effects of her operations.”

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CLOSE: Michelle with late pal Nikki Grahame

CLOSE: Michelle with late pal Nikki Grahame

CLOSE: Michelle with late pal Nikki Grahame

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Embattled Michelle had also been deeply affected by the sudden death of her friend Nikki Grahame earlier this month.

Paying tribute to the tragic Big Brother in an emotional Instagram post , she wrote: “Dear Nikki, I’m so sorry I didn’t come. I was scared to see you... to say anything that might be a trigger to lose you... I was a coward and I’m so sorry.

“I hate how I have to do this publicly... coz ‘apparently if you don’t show respect on Instagram you don’t really care...’ But we live in a world where unfortunately if you don’t pay respects publicly then ‘clearly you really were not her friend.’”

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