Billie Piper on married life with Chris Evans: ‘I was a pop star and then I got drunk with an old man for five years’
Billie Piper has described her booze-fuelled marriage to Virgin Radio DJ Chris Evans as “being drunk with an old man for five years.”
The former child star said she had a lot of “baggage” to deal with when she started acting in 2001 when she was 18. tabloid fodder,” she told The Guardian.
“Instead of ‘Oh, she was a pop star,’ it was more like, ‘She was a pop star, then she was bullied with an old man for five years.’ I think that was the lasting image when I walked into an audition room.”
The couple separated when she was 21 and divorced in 2007, but they remain good friends, she says, calling their relationship a happy experience.
Relationship: Billie Piper (right) described her booze fueled marriage to Virgin Radio DJ Chris Evans (left) as being drunk ‘for five years with an old man’
‘I loved it. Loved that time. Learned so much,” she says. “I really needed it, after the experiences I had leading up to that point. And I felt like I had actually found a real friend.
“I think I met someone who had been through it [fame] For 20 years it was very nurturing at that level. And also very drunk, which is what I needed. I had a lot of fun during those years.’
Glamorous: Piper, pictured, in her outfit for British Vogue and Tiffany & Co. Fashion and Film Party 2022
She was thrust back into the spotlight when she starred in Doctor Who alongside Christopher Eccleston and then David Tennant until she left her regular role on the show in 2008.
“Anyone who liked Doctor Who was drawn to the character, and that was great. Although it did make me very famous again, which I had a problem with,’ she says.
Now 40, the mother of three has been in a relationship with musician Johnny Lloyd since divorcing her second husband, the actor and activist Laurence Fox, in 2016. Ms. Piper is set for the return later this month of I Hate Suzie, the Sky Atlantic series she co-created with Succession writer Lucy Prebble.
The drama follows the misadventures of Suzie Pickles, a former teen pop star turned sci-fi actor whose life falls apart as she struggles with the downside of fame – a character Piper insists is not autobiographical.
She says she now feels more able to gauge the highs and lows of growing up in public, adding, “Fame is terrible. It is dirty. It’s such a dark thing. And it will change your daily life experience in a way that is frankly depressing in my perception of it. When I imagine some of my happiest and freest times, most of them are pre-fame.”
Stars: Piper and Johnny Lloyd (right) attend the launch of Mr Porter ‘The Mr Porter Health and Mind Fund’ charity fund at Quaglino’s on October 10, 2019