Chloe Madeley on ex James Haskell moving out and dating: 'I'm here for him getting a new partner!'


A great deal has changed for Chloe Madeley since we last spoke to her after her marriage breakdown and in this new exclusive chat with OK!, she’s ready to update us on her living situation, dating and how she finally pulled herself out of a “black hole”.

Despite virtually constant speculation about her relationship with ex-husband James Haskell, who she married in 2018, the 36-year-old fitness instructor has weathered the storm and is still determined to stick to their vow of continuing to co-parent daughter Bodhi, 21 months, with “nothing but love”.

Since she and former rugby player, James, 39, announced their separation in October, they’ve become somewhat of a poster couple for co-parents everywhere. “I’m never going to go into great detail about why we broke up because it’s not fair on anyone and I wouldn’t want him to either, but what I will say is it was f*****g awful,” she tells us.

Chloe Madeley
Chloe is feeling back on form after a difficult 12 months -Credit:Alex James / OK! Magazine

“Part of the reason we wanted to end it was because we wanted it to stop being awful, so why would we then take that into a break-up and it continue being awful?! There’s a point where you have to say, ‘Let’s create a new life that looks nothing like the old life’ so we can co-parent our daughter and not be miserable. It was hard at the beginning. You have to work at it like everything in life and we’ve really done that.”

Chloe, who is speaking to us through her ambassadorship with water-based probiotic Symprove, has consistently maintained that separating from James was the right decision, but she now feels strong enough to also admit she fell into a form of situational depression.

“I’ve actually never had depression before and obviously it was very circumstantial” she says. “So I didn’t realise when people say ‘I can’t’ do something, you really just can’t. Friends would say, ‘Come over and have dinner’, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t even reply to emails.

“I really went through the wringer. Other than taking care of Bodhi, I wasn’t really doing any real self-care. But when I started coming to terms with the decision, because I knew I was never going to change my mind, I eventually started to get excited about what my life would look like.”

Chloe Madeley and James Haskell with daughter Bodhi
Chloe says her and James are excited about their future as co-parents -Credit:@madeleychloe/Instagram

As well as slowly easing herself back into exercise, which she says is far more about mental health than aesthetics, she also relied heavily on her mum and dad – TV’s Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley.

“Part of the reason why I managed to come out of that black hole was because of Mum and Dad,” she says. “They got me through the hardest time in my life without even trying. They’re not those grandparents that will take Bodhi for a weekend, or run around the park chasing her for an hour so I can run errands, but they are invaluable in terms of emotional support and for my mental health.

"They made my transition into motherhood and also my separation doable and a positive experience in many ways, so I’m eternally grateful to them. I don’t know what I’d do without them.”

Judy, Richard and Chloe Madeley
Chloe says her mum and dad helped her through her separation -Credit:Getty Images

Chloe and James still live together but she reveals they’ve finally set a date for James’s departure. And, she laughs, they’re both “excited” about the next step and have already meticulously planned it. “There’ll be a bedding-in period and I’ll stay there for a few days too,” she says. “I want to make sure Bodhi has everything she needs so it feels like home. I’ll slowly, slowly back out and leave her there for a couple of days and then she’ll come back here.”

Chloe, who runs two successful fitness businesses and two podcasts, lights up as we get on to chatting more about her daughter. “She’s just unbelievably happy and playful, I absolutely hit the jackpot,” she says, beaming. “In the morning she crawls into my bed and puts her hands on my face, then hugs and kisses it. It just melts me. It’s the best way in the world to wake up.”

When Chloe last spoke to OK! in December, she was very clear on how she felt about dating, telling us, “I never want to be in a relationship again. It’s like a wave of dread coming over me”. Thankfully though, she’s moved on from “never again”.

Chloe Madeley
Chloe is feeling confident, fit and happy with her London life -Credit:Chelsea White

“The problem for me is I do not want to meet anyone on the internet and go on a date,” she says. “I want to meet someone in real life and hit it off and that just doesn’t happen any more. I would love to just meet someone by happenstance and think, ‘Oh wow, I vibe with this person, I really want to hang out with this person, I fancy this person’, but I’ve been single for nine months now and that hasn’t happened.

“But I’m definitely not – nor do I think I’ll ever be – on dating apps. I don’t want someone to look at my picture and think whether or not I’m worthy of being taken out for dinner and basically be auditioned.” Chloe also says her relationship with Bodhi fills lots of her caring “love language” needs, so she’s not actively “looking” for a new man.

“Don’t get me wrong, I fancy guys all the time, but I’m not really looking for a relationship. I’m just having fun. And I want to meet someone and for them to say, ‘Hey, can I have your number? This has been great.’ All my friends tell me I’m deluded and it isn’t ever going to happen that way, but I’m sticking to my guns.”

Chloe Madeley
Chloe says she isn't impressed with the new world of dating apps -Credit:Chelsea White

With James’s departure from their marital home set in their calendar for July, the chances of one or both of them meeting someone new is about to significantly increase. And while Chloe told us in December that she wasn’t sure how she’d feel about James moving on with someone else, it’s another area in which she’s evolved – despite what others might think.

“I decided that I didn’t want to be in my relationship any more, so I don’t get to be angry when he moves on,” she says. “I’ve heard people say, ‘Well, let’s see how happy they are when there’s new people in the picture’. But I’m actually kind of here for James getting a new partner because there’s a lot of positives in it. He’s a great dad and he’s very respectful of Bodhi, so I’m genuinely not worried about that element.”

Chloe’s parents’ marriage is, for each of them, their second and Judy went into it as a mum of twin boys, so Chloe is familiar with the step-parent-step-child dynamic.

“I’ve had insight my whole life into step-parenting and children being involved who are born of parents who are no longer together. I’ve seen both sides of the coin and I’ve seen how it works. So it’s not something that worries me at all.”

Chloe and Richard Madeley
Chloe says Nonna Judy and Grandad Richard are a huge emotional support for her -Credit:@madeleychloe/Instagram

Despite social media providing much of the fodder for the speculation, Chloe’s approach to it is simple. “I used it for entertainment during a stressful time in my life, peeking into other people’s lives when I needed to escape mine,” she says, laughing.

“I share whatever I want, I don’t care what anyone has to say about it. I come from a family where lively debate is part of our Sunday lunch, so I kind of enjoy it when someone says something to me publicly that I don’t agree with and I get to smack them down.”

Looking ahead, Chloe has a busy summer, which includes James’s move, Bodhi’s second birthday in August and lots more work in health and fitness. She’s worked in the industry for 12 years and has been qualified as a personal trainer for 10 of those. She is keen to share her wisdom, hence her role as a Symprove ambassador.

Chloe Madeley
Chloe is proud of what she's achieved as a fitness coach -Credit:Instagram/madeleychloe

“I know that gut health is so important, not just for my digestive health but also things about mood and mental health, sleep regulation and immune function.”

This summer she’s also set to achieve a career high, as a speaker at the International Fitness Summit in Ibiza. “It’s run by some of the best people in the industry so it’s confirmation for me that I’m taken seriously. I’m really proud. I read comments all the time saying ‘What does she do for a living?’ My response is I work seven days a week, I run two businesses, I’ve got podcasts, I’ve written four books. I’m working – trust me!”

What about her relationship with James in the future?

“We’ll consider ourselves the best people in the world if we do this whole thing with an emotionally stable, secure, loved child. That’s the goal and we’ll do absolutely everything we need to do to make that happen.”

Chloe Madeley is an ambassador for the water-based probiotic Symprove