Suzanne Shaw turned to alcohol to help her cope with Hear'Say trauma

·Contributor
·2-min read

Watch: Suzanne Shaw opens up on struggling after Hear'Say split

Suzanne Shaw has told how she turned to alcohol after the collapse of her pop group Hear’Say.

The singer shot to fame in 2001 when she won a spot in the group on reality show Popstars, alongside fellow hopefuls Kym Marsh, Myleene Klass, Danny Foster and Noel Sullivan.

But things rapidly turned sour and the group fell apart in 2002, and Shaw has now revealed that she suffered something like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

She told The Sun that the singers were “guinea pigs” as reality shows were newer back then and there was nobody to consider the psychological impact of becoming stars overnight.

Read more: Suzanne Shaw opens up on 18-year struggle with depression and anxiety

She said Hear’Say’s demise came about because “we were massively over exposed, people got bored of us very quickly and it soon became less about our music and more about our personal lives”.

LONDON - MAY 20: British pop stars (L-R) Noel Sullivan, Suzanne Shaw, Myleene Klass, Kym Marsh and Danny Foster of the pop group
Hear'Say was formed in 2001. (Getty Images)

Shaw said she struggled to cope with the trauma and by the time the group split up she didn’t realise she was suffering from mental health issues.

“Life as I knew it disappeared overnight and I had no support system in place,” she said. “I would actually compare what happened to PTSD, as the shock was so massive.”

Suzanne Shaw attends the Tulleys Haunted Drive-In Cinema VIP night at Tulleys Farm Event Centre. (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Suzanne Shaw said it was a shock when Hear'Say ended. (SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

The 39-year-old said her coping mechanism became “a very unhealthy relationship with alcohol, which numbed the pain”.

Things worsened early in 2005 when she and Darren Day split not long after the birth of her son Corey.

Shaw said she was “totally overwhelmed” and needed to get away from the mental chatter in her head. 

"I thought, ‘I’ll just have a glass of wine. Or I’ll sleep. Or I’ll just have a sleeping tablet’,” she explained.

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Shaw said she really started to address things 18 months ago and gave up drinking in January 2020, as well as discovering running.

Read more: Myleene Klass shares story behind white bikini she wore on I'm A Celebrity

She also found love again with fiancé Sam Greenfield, and the couple have a son named Rafferty.

Watch: Myleene Klass calls police after reportedly being spat on by Uber driver

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