EXCLUSIVE: ‘She chose my new name over martinis in Milan’: Jessica Alves reveals surprising friendship with Kirstie Alley who helped her transition from Celeb Big Brother
Jessica Alves was heartbroken to learn that her former Celebrity Big Brother co-star Kirstie Alley had lost her short battle with cancer on Monday at age 71.
The TV star, 39, bonded with the Cheers actress when they both appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2018 and spent time together in Italy after the show.
Jessica told MailOnline: ‘We met in Milan when the show ended and she was one of the first people I told I was transitioning.
EXCLUSIVE: She chose my new name over martinis in Milan: Jessica Alves has revealed her surprising friendship with the late Kirstie Alley who helped her transition from CBB in 2018
Happy in her own skin: Jessica has been very open about her transition journey (pictured last week) and asked that her former name not be mentioned
“We were drinking martinis at the Dolce And Gabbana bar and I got tipsy and cried confiding in her what I was going through.
“I told her I was really struggling and she listened. We talked about names about she helped me choose Jessica that I love.
‘We went shopping after that and Kirstie spent a few thousand pounds on Manolo Blahniks. She had a real passion for them, but she was down to earth in other areas.’
Jessica had been in Italy for work and Kirstie happened to be on vacation there for a few days to message Jessica asking if she wanted to meet.
She said that Scientologist Kirstie had many interesting things to talk about, but had never tried to convert her to involvement in her religion.
Special: After meeting on the show, Jessica and Kirstie met in Italy where she tearfully confided to her how much she was struggling with her journey and she helped her a lot (pictured together in CBB)
Reflecting on their time in the Big Brother house — where Kirstie came in second to actor Ryan Thomas — Jessica said Kirstie helped her through a rough time.
She said, “It was a hard time for me to be home because no one knew I was transitioning at the time and I was on hormones that were driving me crazy.”
But Kirstie and Jessica bonded after she took her under her wing and made her try on all of her high heels.
Jessica said, “Kirstie had brought in loads of pairs of Manolos and she let me fit them all into the house and walk around in them, but that was never televised.
Last photo: On Monday it turned out that Kirstie passed away at the age of 71 after a short battle with cancer. She was last photographed during an Instagram video on Sept. 8 praising work on Cameo
Heartbreaking: The star’s family issued a statement on Instagram on Monday following the death
“She was really there for me and was a very positive person.”
Jessica continued; “Jessica was a very clean lady with high standards and she let me clean the house with Listerine mouthwash at one point because there were no cleaning supplies.
Their bond grew stronger when Jessica did Kirstie’s hair and makeup and she looked so beautiful.
Jessica said: “She may have been a big Hollywood star, but she was very down to earth and wise.
“She did, however, show me pictures of all the monkeys and wild birds she had in her LA home. She had to have a special permit for it, but she loved animals.
“She was a truly special lady and I am absolutely devastated to hear that she passed away – my heart goes out to all of her loved ones.”
Jessica has sent her lover to Kirstie’s family – the actress pictured with her adopted children William True and Lillie Price in 2010