SARAH Harding’s dream was to become a mother, her last boyfriend Chad Johnson revealed yesterday.
Chad, who met Sarah on Celebrity Big Brother in 2017, believes she would have been an amazing mum — and told of his sorrow that she never got to fulfil her wish.
In an exclusive interview with The Sun, the 34-year-old American said: “Sarah wanted to be a mum but she never got to do that. That feels very sad for me. I always thought Sarah would have been an amazing mum.
“She had such a motherly vibe, she was very caring towards the people she loved. And she loved children.
“She would have been obsessed with her kids in the best way. It was just in her nature.”
US reality television star Chad and English beauty Sarah enjoyed a whirlwind romance after their time in the Big Brother house.
While the long distance between the pair eventually meant the relationship struggled to survive, the pair stayed in contact and remained on good terms.
Chad, who now works in tech and lives in Las Vegas, told how they had planned to hook up again but he never realised just how ill she was.
He said: “We’d always stayed in touch.
“We had been planning to meet up but I had to move the dates and we couldn’t make it work — and then the pandemic hit. But we stayed in touch via texts and on social media. For us both, I think we always thought we would reconnect. We had a connection, a great relationship.
“We didn’t have to talk for hours to know we cared. And we both had busy lives. But even after she said she was sick I never really realised how poorly she was. It never really hit me.
‘Still sinking in’
“I prayed she was able to get through it. It is still sinking in. I woke up to so many messages from friends. I still can’t believe she has gone. I was always thinking of her.”
Sarah was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer last August, and it then spread. Her mum Marie revealed that she had died on Sunday, sparking a wave of heartfelt tributes.
Chad says she was so proud of everything she achieved with her Girls Aloud bandmates Cheryl Tweedy, Kimberley Walsh, Nicola Roberts and Nadine Coyle.
He revealed that she would spend hours watching back their videos with him and even her auditions from Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 — where the band was formed. They went on to notch four UK No 1 singles and 21 top ten songs before they split in 2013.
Chad recalls: “Sarah loved to talk about her Girls Aloud girls. She made it clear they were very close friends, which wasn’t surprising given how many years they had been together.
“I think Sarah really missed the girls. They were like her sisters. “They were family. There had been squabbles between a few of them and Sarah would talk about it. But I could read through it. I said to her, ‘You just miss them.’ Yes to her it sounded like some of the girls were saying things about the others but I knew that she just missed them.
I prayed she was able to get through it. It is still sinking in.
“Sarah just wanted everything to go back to being the way it was.
“She was so proud of what they had achieved together and what she had done with her life.
“Sarah played me Popstars: The Rivals clips so I would understand where she came from. And she loved to show me clips from when she was in Girls Aloud.
“We’d watch her old performances and live gigs. She was so proud of them. She liked to show me her singing and performing.
“Sarah loved their song The Promise. She had a big solo part, she was so proud of it. She used to play it to me and look at me, it was like she was trying to tell me something. She was so proud of that song.”
During her 11 years in Girls Aloud, Sarah became known as the party animal, and fans nicknamed her “Hardcore Harding”.
In her bestselling autobiography, Hear Me Out, she recalled a number of wild adventures.
But Chad said Sarah — who also appeared in Coronation Street and films including St Trinian’s — was happiest at home behind closed doors.
He said: “Sarah was a homebody, she liked to be at home and just be herself.
“She had a house in the middle of nowhere. When we were together in the UK we were there and when she came to the US, we just stayed at home.
“We never took pictures or put anything on social media, we liked to be private.
‘Sarah didn’t care about fame or money’
“At home in her own little world was where she was happiest. Sarah didn’t care about fame or money. She put out into the world who she was, she didn’t act like a big star. She was just a fun, loud girl.
“I remember how she loved to cook and she made these crazy good eggs that I loved. In the evenings we’d order a takeaway and open a bottle of wine.
“Noodles and Asian food was her go-to.
“She’d laugh because the American version of Asian food is totally different to the UK version. Sarah would have to explain the menu to me because I had no idea what it was.
“Sarah would be at her happiest dressed down in her sweat pants and a tank top, cuddled up on the sofa.”
However it wasn’t always a quiet night in, he said.
Chad explained: “She loved to DJ. She had this whole booth set up in her house. One night she decided she wanted to DJ for me and she played for five hours straight.
“She was so talented and she was so passionate. I wondered if she’d try and launch a DJ career but I think she just loved getting lost in her music.”
Chad says his biggest regret is not spending more time with her.
He adds: “After our relationship and the long distance didn’t work out Sarah stepped out of the public eye. She had a small circle and remained within that circle.
“Family and friends were everything to her. Looking back now, distance was always such an issue.
At home in her own little world was where she was happiest.
“If I had an endless supply of money, we would have gone off together and we would still be together to this day.
“We had a good relationship, my memories are so fond of her.
“I wish I had gone to see her more, I wish I hadn’t have let work get in the way. I just always believed we would be together again. I don’t have that chance now. I miss her so much.”
What is breast cancer and how does it spread?
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK – with one woman diagnosed every ten minutes.
While most women can get breast cancer, it is most common in women who are over the age of 50.
According to Cancer Research UK, breast cancer starts in the breast tissue.
Breast cancer develops when abnormal cells in the breast begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way and eventually form a growth.
Most invasive breast cancers are found in the upper-outer quadrant of the breast.
If it’s not diagnosed and treated it can move through the lymph or blood vessels to other areas of the body.
Each year in the UK there are around 55,200 new breast cancer cases.
This equates to around 150 new cases a day.
It also accounts for 15 per cent of all new cancer cases each year.
If the cancer is diagnosed at its earliest stage then 98 per cent of people will survive the disease for five years or more.
If it is diagnosed at the latest stage, then just 26 per cent of people survive for five years or more.
What are the four stages of breast cancer?
Stage one: The cancer is small and only in the breast tissue – but can also be found in lymph nodes close to the breast.
Stage two: The cancer is either in the breast or in the nearby lymph nodes or both.
Stage three: The cancer has spread from the breast to the lymph nodes or the skin of the breast or the chest wall.
Stage four: The cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
What are the signs?
- A lump in the breast or armpit
- Changes in the positioning of the nipple
- Nipples leaking in women who have not had children
- Skin changes