Trisha Goddard has revealed her horror over thinking she had passed on HIV to her then baby daughter Billie, after learning her first husband secretly battled the virus.
The presenter’s ex-husband, Australian politician Robert Nestdale, died in 1989, just weeks after she gave birth to daughter Billie with second husband Mark Grieve – with Trisha only learning Robert had died of AIDS at his funeral.
In a new interview, Trisha, 63, opened up about the agonising wait to find out if she had carried HIV and had given it to Billie, now 31, through breastfeeding, recalling that she didn’t ‘know how I got through it’.
Agony: Trisha Goddard has revealed her horror over thinking she had passed on HIV to her then baby daughter Billie, after learning her first husband secretly battled the virus (pictured in 2020)
Trisha told how she was stunned to learn that Robert had AIDS, was actually secretly gay and didn’t suffer from lymphoma, as he had told her.
But upon realising the truth about his illness, the new mum, then 31, was struck with panic at the thought of passing on the virus to her child and booked herself in for a test immediately.
Speaking to The Sun, she said: ‘I don’t know how I got through it. I was Robert’s wife and yet I didn’t know he had Aids.’
She added that she was ‘horrified’ at the thought of doctors taking blood from her newborn baby, but was then told ‘wasn’t necessary’ as if Trisha tested positive and was breastfeeding Billie, the tot would already have the virus.
Scared: In a new interview, Trisha, 63, opened up about the agonising wait to find out if she had carried HIV and had given it to Billie, now 31, through breastfeeding, recalling that she didn’t ‘know how I got through it’
She explained: ‘I’ll never forget this awful feeling, that I might have been passing on the disease through my milk. It was your worst nightmare. When I found out I had tested negative, I broke down and wept.’
The former chat show host described how she went ‘cold, numb with fear’ after the ‘penny dropped’ that Robert had HIV, remembering how Robert had ‘worked a lot’ in Africa were the virus was prevalent.
Trisha went on to recall how during her career as a journalist, she remembers covering babies laying in their cots with HIV, so she knew full well the extent that the virus had on children.
‘That still haunted me’ she said. ‘I knew what it looked like. So I was petrified. When I found out I was OK the relief was immense.’
Secrets: The presenter’s ex-husband, Australian politician Robert Nestdale, died in 1989, just weeks after she gave birth to daughter Billie with second husband Mark Grieve – with Trisha only learning Robert had died of AIDS at his funeral
Past trauma: Upon realising the truth about his illness, the new mum, then 31, was struck with panic at the thought of passing on the virus to her child and booked herself in for a test immediately (pictured in 2020)
The Dancing On Ice went on to describe her short-lived marriage to Robert and told how she found it ‘hard’ to get over the fact that he had lied throughout their relationship and ‘all the way’ to his deathbed.
Trisha and Robert had married in 1985, with the politician passing away in 1989.
She went on to meet producer Mark Grieve in 1987, with the couple welcoming first daughter Billie in 1989, just weeks before Robert’s death.
They married in 1993 and the pair welcomed their second daughter Madison in 1996, with the couple splitting shortly after.
Trisha then went on to tie the knot with psycho- therapist Peter Gianfrancesco in 1998, however, this married also didn’t last, with the duo divorcing in 2017.
Horrible time: ‘I’ll never forget this awful feeling, that I might have been passing on the disease through my milk. It was your worst nightmare’ (pictured in 2019)
Her girl: She went on to meet producer Mark Grieve in 1987, with the couple welcoming first daughter Billie in 1989, just weeks before Robert’s death (pictured with Billie, now 31)
Meanwhile, Trisha is set to unveil more of her life during an upcoming episode of Piers Morgan’s Life Stories.
Speaking to Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine, she said of her experience: ‘It was tough’.
‘Of course I know all the things that have happened to me in my life, but it’s quite different when they’re all strung together like that.
‘And there were videos from people I hadn’t seen for some time. I’m not somebody who cries in public but there were plenty of lumps in my throat.
‘It was more of an ordeal than I’d been expecting. But I’m a grown-up. I’ve interviewed enough people myself. Piers was just doing his job. He was fair.
‘It’s just I’m not used to being asked the questions. I’m sure I’ll be watching it from behind a giant pillow, like I do horror movies.’
Tough: The Dancing On Ice went on to describe her short-lived marriage to Robert and told how she found it ‘hard’ to get over the fact that he had lied throughout their relationship and ‘all the way’ to his deathbed 9pictured in 2020)
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