Max Clifford tells Kerry Katona to 'get a grip'
Kerry Katona's former publicist Max Clifford today urged her to "get a grip", after she was axed as the face of supermarket chain Iceland amid allegations that she took cocaine.
Mr Clifford said Katona had hit rock bottom and he dreaded to think what the consequences would be if she did not come "to her senses".
The News Of The World published photographs and video footage of the 28-year-old mother allegedly showing her snorting the class A drug in her home in Wilmslow, Cheshire.
Iceland said last night that while the company had stood by her during earlier personal difficulties, it was now "impossible" for her to continue in its advertising campaign.
Mr Clifford was Katona's long-standing representative, even describing her previously as like an "adopted daughter".
But the two parted ways after Katona slurred her way through a catastrophic interview on ITV's This Morning and Mr Clifford said they have not spoken since.
Mr Clifford, who said he had brokered the supermarket deal, said: "Iceland have been very supportive and very loyal.
"They stood by her when most companies would have elbowed her a long time ago."
Mr Clifford said Katona needed some "real friends" around her.
He said: "She has reached rock bottom ... I am hoping that this will bring her to her senses."
He said that Katona had already had "a few wake up calls" and added: "I'm hoping that good will come out of this, perversely.
"Her career is at rock bottom. Her earning capacity is at rock bottom. Maybe this will make her evaluate and finally stand up and do what she needs to do.
"It is sad. We tried long and hard to help her."
The former Atomic Kitten singer, who has endured a long and public battle with alcohol and drugs, as well as a roller-coaster romantic life, fronted the supermarket's advertising campaigns for four years.
Katona, who had two children with Westlife singer Bryan McFadden and two more with Mark Croft, won the Best Celebrity Mother award in 2004 and 2005, though she was criticised for smoking and drinking while pregnant.
Mr Clifford contrasted Katona's situation with that of Jade Goody, who he also represented until her death in March, aged 27, after battling cancer.
He said: "Jade Goody had no choice. She desperately fought to stay alive ... hopefully Kerry will think about that.
"For the sake of her kids she should get a grip on herself.
"She has been on a downward spiral for a long time."
He said he would "dread to think" what the consequences would be if Katona did not rally herself, predicting that she could either sink to oblivion or pull herself together.
He said: "I hope that it's the latter."
Iceland's statement said of Katona yesterday: "For most of that time, she has been a successful part of our advertising campaigns, but has also been through some tough times in her personal life.
"We have always stood by her, as an example of a normal person and mum who has experienced some of the modern-day culture of fame, and how difficult it can be to deal with.
"However, following the most recent allegations, we feel it is impossible for Kerry to continue to work with us as one of the faces of Iceland advertising.
"In recognition of the relationship we have developed, we will continue to try and help Kerry to ensure she get the most appropriate support, should she require our assistance."
Katona's interview on This Morning last October earned her a large measure of notoriety as she slurred and appeared confused, though she later said this was due to medication she was taking for her bipolar disorder.
She has been the subject of several reality TV shows on MTV, most recently Kerry Katona: What's The Problem?, charting her attempt to understand and come to terms with her mental illness.
Losing the six-figure Iceland contract will not help her financial troubles - last August she was declared bankrupt after failing to pay off a £417,000 tax bill and in May this year she told GMTV that she was "skint".
She said the mood swings caused by her bipolar disorder was partly to blame, as she tended to spend "loads of money" when she was on a high.
Iceland uses a number of other celebrities to promote its stores - including Coleen Nolan, singer and star of ITV show Loose Women.
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