Michelle Heaton’s best friend says the Liberty X star is ‘doing great’ after checking into rehab

Michelle Heaton is ‘doing great’ after checking into rehab after reportedly finding herself struggling during lockdown, according to one of her friends.

The Liberty X star, 41, sought professional help last month following claims she was using alcohol as a crutch in a bid to cope with the effects of a string of operations.

Now, her friend Kirsty Shaw-Rayner, who works as a PR director, has commented on the progress that Michelle has been making since enterting the facility.

'Wonder Woman Shell': Michelle Heaton's best friend says the Liberty X star is 'doing great' after checking into rehab (pictured: Michelle in an Instagram post on April 23)

'Wonder Woman Shell': Michelle Heaton's best friend says the Liberty X star is 'doing great' after checking into rehab (pictured: Michelle in an Instagram post on April 23)

‘Wonder Woman Shell’: Michelle Heaton’s best friend says the Liberty X star is ‘doing great’ after checking into rehab (pictured: Michelle in an Instagram post on April 23)

Speaking to Closer Magazine, Kirsty said: ‘Michelle’s doing great – she’s feeling brave, strong, confident and focused. She has people around her who love her so much that they wouldn’t let her fail.

‘Everyone is really proud of her. We call her ‘Wonder Woman Shell’ – which is her Instagram handle – because of her bravery. She has shown that same grit and determination again and again.’

Kirsty also said that Michelle is a fighter and that by checking herself into rehab, ‘she’s shown she’s a real-life warrior’.

It comes after it was confirmed last month that Michelle was receiving treatment in rehab after reportedly turning to alcohol during lockdown.

Seeking help: Speaking to Closer Magazine, Kirsty said: 'Michelle's doing great - she's feeling brave, strong, confident and focused. She has people around her who love her so much that they wouldn't let her fail' (Pictured: Michelle in one of her Instagram posts from April 23)

Seeking help: Speaking to Closer Magazine, Kirsty said: 'Michelle's doing great - she's feeling brave, strong, confident and focused. She has people around her who love her so much that they wouldn't let her fail' (Pictured: Michelle in one of her Instagram posts from April 23)

Seeking help: Speaking to Closer Magazine, Kirsty said: ‘Michelle’s doing great – she’s feeling brave, strong, confident and focused. She has people around her who love her so much that they wouldn’t let her fail’ (Pictured: Michelle in one of her Instagram posts from April 23)

It was reported that Michelle was struggling with the side effects after undergoing a hysterectomy in 2012 and a double mastectomy in 2015, to reduce her risk of cancer, as well as experiencing an early menopause.  

A spokesperson for Michelle confirmed to MailOnline at the time that Michelle was at a rehabilitation facility and has the support of her family and friends.

A source told The Sun: ‘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.

‘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.

Medical history: It was reported that Michelle was struggling with the side effects after undergoing a hysterectomy in 2012 and a double mastectomy in 2015, to reduce her risk of cancer, as well as experiencing an early menopause

Medical history: It was reported that Michelle was struggling with the side effects after undergoing a hysterectomy in 2012 and a double mastectomy in 2015, to reduce her risk of cancer, as well as experiencing an early menopause

Medical history: It was reported that Michelle was struggling with the side effects after undergoing a hysterectomy in 2012 and a double mastectomy in 2015, to reduce her risk of cancer, as well as experiencing an early menopause

‘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.’ 

The death of her close friend Nikki Grahame has also taken its toll on Michelle in recent weeks. 

Earlier this month, Michelle hit back at a cruel troll who blamed her for Nikki death from anorexia, aged 38.

She took to Instagram to slam a social media user for the horrible abuse aimed at her after she admitted feeling ‘scared’ to visit Big Brother star Nikki during her final days.

Defending herself online, Michelle told the troll that ‘those words can break someone on the edge’, as she defiantly added: ‘I feel sorry for you’.

Fighting back: Earlier this month, Michelle hit back at a cruel troll who blamed her for Nikki death from anorexia, aged 38

Fighting back: Earlier this month, Michelle hit back at a cruel troll who blamed her for Nikki death from anorexia, aged 38

Fighting back: Earlier this month, Michelle hit back at a cruel troll who blamed her for Nikki death from anorexia, aged 38

Following the tragic news about Nikki, Michelle penned an open letter in which she admitted that she was hesitant about seeing the TV personality in such a fragile state as she looked back on happier times.

But one troll fired abuse at her, telling her that she was ‘never there’ for her friend and that Nikki died because of her.

Sharing a screenshot of the nasty messages, Michelle fumed: ‘Who ever this piece of s*** is… I feel sorry for you. You need a hug. You never know what anyone is going through. 

‘However, to tell me I was reason she died … wow … I just hope if you loose someone you love you DO NOT get told it’s your fault… coz.. who ever u r .. your lucky I’ve been through and seen so much I’m not easy to crack. [sic].

Shocking: She took to Instagram to slam a social media user for the horrible abuse aimed at her after she admitted feeling 'scared' to visit Big Brother star Nikki during her final days

Shocking: She took to Instagram to slam a social media user for the horrible abuse aimed at her after she admitted feeling 'scared' to visit Big Brother star Nikki during her final days

Shocking: She took to Instagram to slam a social media user for the horrible abuse aimed at her after she admitted feeling ‘scared’ to visit Big Brother star Nikki during her final days

‘Who ever you are .. those words can break someone on the edge. I see u have one follower … who ever follows you report this piece of s***.’ [sic].

She concluded: ‘I’ve been Called many things in my life… this is the lowest of them all. You need hugs. X.’ (sic)

The twisted individual had told Michelle: ‘Just like her you’re talentless and have zero knowledge on intelligent stuff air head bimbo.’

They then cruelly ranted: ‘You was never there for her she died because of you, you was too weak just like you said!’ 

Defiant: Sharing a screenshot of the nasty messages, Michelle fumed: 'Who ever this piece of s*** is... I feel sorry for you. You need a hug. You never know what anyone is going through'

Defiant: Sharing a screenshot of the nasty messages, Michelle fumed: 'Who ever this piece of s*** is... I feel sorry for you. You need a hug. You never know what anyone is going through'

Defiant: Sharing a screenshot of the nasty messages, Michelle fumed: ‘Who ever this piece of s*** is… I feel sorry for you. You need a hug. You never know what anyone is going through’

 Following Michelle’s take down of the troll, her fans were quick to praise her for standing up for herself, while others revealed they had reported the person. 

On Saturday, the Liberty X star admitted that she was ‘scared’ to visit her late friend Nikki during her final days as she paid tribute to the star in an Instagram post.

The Big Brother star passed away in the early hours of Friday morning – just one month after her friends started a GoFundMe page for her anorexia treatment.

Rude: A troll fired viscous abuse at her, telling her that she was 'never there' for her friend and that Nikki died because of her.

Rude: A troll fired viscous abuse at her, telling her that she was 'never there' for her friend and that Nikki died because of her.

Rude: A troll fired viscous abuse at her, telling her that she was ‘never there’ for her friend and that Nikki died because of her.

Sharing a picture of the pair enjoying a night on the town, the former Liberty X singer wrote: Dear Nikki, I’m so sorry I didn’t come. I was scared to see you .. to say anything that may be a trigger to loose you.. I was a coward and I’m so sorry.

‘I just listened to our voices notes, our messages, and the phone calls over the last few weeks .. I think I knew, and I was too weak to know.

‘Your last one, telling us you saw me on @lorraine & wished us all better and to call you. YOU thought of us even when on that day you were where you were! Most my ‘so called friends’ didn’t even contact us.

‘Nikki, I have so many memories, most I can’t not repeat. The holidays, the events, Ireland… Marbella…’

Tragic: The Big Brother star passed away in the early hours of Friday morning – just one month after her friends started a GoFundMe page for her anorexia treatment

Tragic: The Big Brother star passed away in the early hours of Friday morning – just one month after her friends started a GoFundMe page for her anorexia treatment

Tragic: The Big Brother star passed away in the early hours of Friday morning – just one month after her friends started a GoFundMe page for her anorexia treatment

Referring to the photo she posted, Michelle went on: ‘I just came across this one,. Think it was the world music awards.. we went as a couple lol! (Coz we were not as famous as the others to get plus 1’s)

‘Hand on hip! wayyy to much fake tan.. pale lips thinking we look amazing. Held our breath every time we had a picture coz we wanted to ‘look good’ then landed in the press comparing us to trash .. as they do!

‘But we didn’t care! Coz there was a FREE bar! Mini fish and chips going around! Smoked salmon on soggy crisp bread with crusty bits of wasabi (first time either of us had had smoked salmon)

‘Michael Jackson was on stage and we just went looking for the goody bags under every ones chair ☺️.’

Michelle went on to admit that she also didn’t want to post a public tribute to her tragic pal, as she added: ‘I hate how I have to do this publicly.. coz ‘apparently if you don’t show respect on Instagram you don’t really care’.

Battle: Michelle took to Instagram on Saturday to admit that she was hesitant about seeing the TV star in such a fragile state as she looked back on happier times. (pictured in 2008

Battle: Michelle took to Instagram on Saturday to admit that she was hesitant about seeing the TV star in such a fragile state as she looked back on happier times. (pictured in 2008

Battle: Michelle took to Instagram on Saturday to admit that she was hesitant about seeing the TV star in such a fragile state as she looked back on happier times. (pictured in 2008

Tribute: Michelle shared a lengthy tribute to her friend as she reminisced about their fun times

Tribute: Michelle shared a lengthy tribute to her friend as she reminisced about their fun times

Tribute: Michelle shared a lengthy tribute to her friend as she reminisced about their fun times

‘So yes, call me a hypocrite right now for posting this. But we live in a world where unfortunately if you don’t Pay respects publicly then ‘clearly you really were not her friend’.

‘Some of the ‘respects’ I wanna call bull s**t! (You know who u r and I hope u have fun with your 5 mins of fame online .. give yourselves a pat on the back)

‘But the real ones.. if it wasn’t for @imogen_thomas over the last few weeks, well, I adore u… #thatisall ❤️❤️ @nicolamclean30 ❤️u #carly xxxxxx needs no words.’

Taking aim at critics, she concluded: ‘For the people who laughed, labelled, disregarded her coz ‘they’ knew what she needed like ‘eat a sandwich.’ … are probably the same ones being ‘praised with their wonderful public posts’.

‘Feel better guys? Who Is she… who is she… She is @nikkigrahameofficial.’ 

Released: Nikki, who rose to fame after appearing on the 2006 series of Big Brother, was released from hospital in Devon a day before her death. Pictured in 2019

Released: Nikki, who rose to fame after appearing on the 2006 series of Big Brother, was released from hospital in Devon a day before her death. Pictured in 2019

Released: Nikki, who rose to fame after appearing on the 2006 series of Big Brother, was released from hospital in Devon a day before her death. Pictured in 2019

In 2012 the mother of two discovered she was carrying the BRCA2 gene, which meant that without surgery she had an 80 to 85 per cent risk of developing breast cancer and a 30 to 40 per cent risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Following the surgery she also went through the early menopause aged 35.

She has appeared on television on several occasions to discuss her experienced with being diagnosed with the mutated gene. 

In 2013 Michelle told how she had to have surgery work out if she needed a pacemaker, after diet pills she was once addicted to left her with a terrifying cardiac condition.

Family: Michelle married her husband Hugh Hanley, in the Bahamas in July 2010, who she started dating in 2008

Family: Michelle married her husband Hugh Hanley, in the Bahamas in July 2010, who she started dating in 2008

Family: Michelle married her husband Hugh Hanley, in the Bahamas in July 2010, who she started dating in 2008

For six years, the singer said she was addicted to slimming pills, popping tablets every day to suppress her appetite and maintain her weight.

She only stopped when the situation got so dire she was forced into hospital after suffering heart problems.

Michelle suffered with the unexplained arrhythmia for seven years, until in 2011 she was told she may suffer from atrial fibrillation.

Michelle married her husband Hugh Hanley, in the Bahamas in July 2010, who she started dating in 2008.

They couple share two children, Aaron Jay, seven, and Faith, nine. 

TV star: She has appeared on television on several occasions to discuss her experienced with being diagnosed with the mutated gene

TV star: She has appeared on television on several occasions to discuss her experienced with being diagnosed with the mutated gene

TV star: She has appeared on television on several occasions to discuss her experienced with being diagnosed with the mutated gene

Michelle previously admitted going through an early menopause put a ‘strain on her marriage’.

She said previously: ‘Obviously it’s not an intentional thing, but to watch my six year old cry because of what her mummy has irrationally done – like throw her toy out because she was naughty. But was she really that naughty? 

‘Probably not … But it’s difficult to understand what the difference is. I talk to other mums they do that as well and they’re not going through menopause.

‘Is it me being a b**** of a wife, or a really annoyed mummy? Or is it the hormones. The answer is I really don’t know. Absolutely, the menopause has put a strain on my marriage.’

Link hienalouca.com

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