Former TV presenter and model Gail Porter has described the late Prodigy frontman Keith Flint as “the love of my life”.
The electro rock star was found dead at his home in Essex last year, aged 49.
The pair were together for two years in the late ’90s, at a time when they were both heavily under the media spotlight.
Speaking on Louis Theroux’s Radio 4 podcast Grounded, Porter said she cherished their time together.
“Keith was the love of my life,” she said, “I absolutely loved him, I miss him, terrible what happened,” she went on.
“I think it was the first time I actually felt like, ‘please don’t leave me’, that kind of love”.
An inquest heard Flint had unspecified amounts of cocaine, alcohol and codeine in his system when he died.
He was known for his fluorescent spiked hair and high-octane delivery of tracks like Breathe and Firestarter – the band’s two number one singles.
Porter, meanwhile hosted pop culture entertainment shows like Top of the Pops and The Big Breakfast, and she said she appreciated how their relationship allowed them both to switch off from the pressures of showbiz.
‘Did not stop laughing’
“I was single and we went out and we did not stop laughing for the entire evening and then practically that was us together, almost for two years,” she explained.
“The good thing was, he didn’t really talk about work, I didn’t really talk about work, we would just go and do fun things.”
Porter recalled the time they were asked to go to the Maldives with the travel programme Wish You Were Here, and how Flint “had a few issues with a few things”.
“Mental health or substance?” asked Theroux.
“A bit of everything,” replied Porter, who admitted to having had her own issues.
“So by the time we got to the Maldives, he had a few wobbles but by the end of it, he was swimming every day, we were going to the gym and both of us, our mental health was just so fantastic.”
The relationship ultimately came to an end after they returned to the UK.
“He was on a downer, I was trying to work my hardest, so it was a shame,” said Porter.
The 49-year-old Scot stressed how the ups and downs of being in the public eye – including having her phone hacked – can have a damaging effect on one’s health.
‘The invasion is too much’
“Obviously there are a lot of people that work in television like new young presenters, I never met [late Love Island presenter] Caroline Flack but she was popular, her love life was in the papers,” she told the host.
“Stuff we don’t need to know about, that should be private and to see if splashed across a paper, I know a lot of people say well you know what, you are in the media so you kind of signed up for this…”
- Gail Porter: ‘Everyone saw me naked, inside I was breaking’
- Louis Theroux: ‘I needed to give more of myself’
She added: “When I signed up to be a kid telly presenter, I just thought, ‘you know what, I’m just going to make people smile and be happy’, and then suddenly the invasion is too much.”
Grounded with Louis Theroux is available to listen to on BBC Sounds every Monday and BBC Radio 4 every Wednesday at 20:00 BST.