Piper’s marriage to Evans, when she was 19 and he was 34, drew headlines throughout the early 2000s, before they split in 2004 and officially divorced in 2007.
Speaking to Annie MacManus on her Changes podcast, Piper expressed surprise that the pair split without any acrimony, as many had assumed the marriage would end in tears.
“I think people did find that strange and maybe on some level I found it strange as well, like waiting for something awful to happen,” she confessed.
“But it’s sort of remained respectful. I mean, we don’t see each other a great deal at all anymore … [but] I’ve always got really fond memories and a lot of love and warmth there. [It] felt like a really important moment in my life.”
Piper added that Evans was fundamental to her early adulthood, and his guidance eventually encouraged her to abandon pop stardom in favour of acting. She said that being a teenage pop star meant having to project “positivity, strength [and] success” at all times, and that she had rejected it “so viciously” by the end of her music career.
“It sort of inspired me to walk away and I think a lot of that came from having this healing period with Chris,” she continued, “where he taught me to pursue myself and what I wanted to do and protected me around people who were older and wanted [or] had different intentions, different agendas.”
After leaving music behind in her early twenties, Piper found incredible success as an actor, starring in series including Doctor Who, Secret Diary of a Call Girl and the critically acclaimed I Hate Suzie.
Rare Beasts, Piper’s debut as a director and screenwriter, will be released on 7 May.
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