Scarlett Moffatt has opened up about a series of health struggles she faced as a child, including a cancer scare which reduced her parents to tears.
The I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! winner explains in her new book, Me Life Story: Sofa So Good, that at just 11 years old she was battling Bell’s Palsy, a condition which leaves one side of the face completely paralysed.
In an extract from the title, obtained by The Mirror, Scarlett recalls: ‘The doctor said to me: “If you can take your socks and shoes off, Miss Scarlett O’Hara, I just need to explain something to your parents about why we need to do some blood tests. It’s nothing to be scared of, it will only feel like a scratch.”‘
The test mentioned by the doctor is needed on rare occasions as Bell’s Palsy can be an early manifestation of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Scarlett, 26, then reveals that her parents broke down in tears, as her dad had recovered from a rare form of skin cancer just four years before.
She continues: ‘So the thought of his little girl having tests for that awful C-word – cancer – was heartbreaking. My dad picked up my sock, held it to his eye and started to cry…
‘But only three hours or so later, the doctor came back in to tell us amazing news: “Your daughter is fit and healthy – other than the unfortunate case of Bell’s Palsy, of course. I’m going to give her strong steroids and it should have cleared within three months”.’
Scarlett’s Bell’s Palsy was thought to be triggered by the trauma of when she was knocked off of her bike by a car, leaving her two front teeth shattered.
The now-reality TV star couldn’t get veneers until she was older, so she says she didn’t smile for ten years and was frequently targeted by bullies over her looks.
Her admission comes just days after she talked openly about her battle with anxiety, which she says is triggered when she meets her fans.
Speaking to the same paper, she confessed that she is her ‘own worst enemy’, and struggles to leave social situations in case people think that she’s rude.