Helen Flanagan on her traumatic Scott Sinclair split: 'It was emotionally traumatising - like a divorce'

Helen Flanagan says separating from footballer Scott Sinclair after 13 years together felt more like a "divorce" than a break-up. The couple first got together when Coronation Street actress Helen was just 19, and they went on to have three children - Matilda, eight, Delilah, five, and their youngest, three-year-old Charlie.

After having a break earlier on in their relationship, they separated for the final time in late 2022, and Helen told OK! during our exclusive photoshoot and chat that it was "emotionally traumatic" for her.

The couple got engaged in 2018 and moved into their "forever home" in leafy Cheshire in 2021, and had reportedly planned to get married last year. On their separation, Helen told us: “Without sounding dramatic, it can be emotionally traumatising going through something like that,” she tells us.

Helen Flanagan
Helen took two months off work and social media this year to deal with the trauma of her split -Credit:OK! Magazine / Chelsea White

“I don’t see it as a break-up, I see it as a divorce. We were together for 13 years and have three children. But instead of processing it all, I threw myself into work and shut off my emotions. I just went into survival mode."

Helen said she spent much of the aftermath traveling up and down to London for work to keep busy, burying her emotions. But earlier this year she suffered a near-breakdown, mentally and physically, and made the decision to finally deal with the traumatic emotions she'd been burying.

"It all came to the surface earlier this year and I was mentally and physically breaking down.”

Helen Flanagan was diagnosed with psychosis after 'emotionally struggling' with her break up from ex Scott Sinclair
Helen and Scott were together for over a decade and share three children -Credit:Helen Flanagan/Instagram

After taking a prescribed ADHD medication, Helen suffered a horrendous reaction and slipped into a "psychotic episode", otherwise known as psychosis. She took two months off work and social media, and the children temporarily stayed with her parents Julia and Paul while she worked on her her recovery, but she saw them every day.

Now, things between her and Scott are happier and healthier than they've ever been and are able to make sure their children enjoy the benefits of "two happy homes".

Helen Flanagan, and children, Matilda, Delilah and Charlie
Helen puts Matilda, Delilah and Charlie first in everything she does -Credit:OK! Magazine / Chelsea White

“We can have a laugh together, which is brilliant," she says. "When we found each other on a dating app we had a laugh about it, which shows how far we’ve come! I don’t want to live with toxic feelings, I really want to get on with the father of my kids and he’s the same.

"He stays with his mum and we’ve always been really close, so she’s a saving grace for me. I know when they’re with Scott they’re seeing their Nana Sally too.”