Wed. Apr 17th, 2024
alert-–-lauren-goodger-is-back-–-and-ready-to-tell-all:-as-towie’s-own-‘burton-and-taylor’,-her-fiery-romance-with-mark-wright-made-for-tv-gold.-now,-older-and-wiser,-she-explains-why-she-hasn’t-given-up-on-love-–-despite-years-of-heartbreak-following-the-showAlert – Lauren Goodger is BACK – and ready to tell all: As TOWIE’s own ‘Burton and Taylor’, her fiery romance with Mark Wright made for TV gold. Now, older and wiser, she explains why she hasn’t given up on love – despite years of heartbreak following the show

When I meet Lauren Goodger I’m taken aback by how unassuming she appears. 

This, after all, is the girl who famously pushed ex-boyfriend Mark Wright into a swimming pool and featured in several on-screen showdowns with her TOWIE co-stars. 

Yet the woman that sits in front of me today is worlds away from the TV wild child that burst onto screens on the inaugural season of The Only Way Is Essex in 2010. 

I’ve been invited into her home, a modest apartment in West Essex, where she lives with her two-year-old daughter Larose, her pride and joy. 

Greeting me with a wide grin and a friendly glint in her eye, Lauren, 37, is softly spoken, asking how I am and apologising for greeting me with her hair in rollers –  ensuring she’d be ready to go for our photoshoot afterwards. 

Lauren Goodger is back and ready to tell all, older and wiser and having made her TOWIE return, she explains why she hasn't given up on love - despite years of heartbreak

Lauren Goodger is back and ready to tell all, older and wiser and having made her TOWIE return, she explains why she hasn’t given up on love – despite years of heartbreak

Lauren and Mark Wright were practically the Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor of their day - with alcohol-fuelled rows, infidelity and media fanfare, albeit without the two marriages

Lauren and Mark Wright were practically the Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor of their day – with alcohol-fuelled rows, infidelity and media fanfare, albeit without the two marriages

This is, after all, is the girl who famously pushed Mark into a swimming pool and featured in several on-screen showdowns with her TOWIE co-stars

The iconic moment is still referenced to this day

This is, after all, is the girl who famously pushed Mark into a swimming pool and featured in several on-screen showdowns with her TOWIE co-stars

Mark is now part of an Essex power couple with his actress wife Michelle Keegan, the pair have amassed millions with their joint ventures

Mark is now part of an Essex power couple with his actress wife Michelle Keegan, the pair have amassed millions with their joint ventures 

This is the Lauren that viewers didn’t have the chance to see until now, still fun-loving and bubbly but having reined in the wild ways that made a reality TV stalwart. 

Now, having returned to the show that made her a household name, I’m keen to see if viewers can expect the same romantic rollercoaster that featured so heavily in her original stint.  

She’s moved on from the sparring days with her ex Mark, yet her TOWIE return will no doubt raise questions on the wildly different trajectory their paths have taken. 

After all, they were practically the Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor of their day – with alcohol-fuelled rows, infidelity and media fanfare, albeit without the two marriages.

In Mark’s case he continued to court the limelight with stints on I’m A Celebrity and Strictly, later fronting his own shows, such as The Bachelor and The Challenge. 

In his personal life, he’s part of an Essex power couple with his actress wife Michelle Keegan, the pair have amassed millions with their joint ventures. 

The pair do not have children and have not commented on whether they would like any – as Michelle says ‘it’s no one else’s business after all’. 

In contrast to childless Mark, Lauren is a proud mother of two-year-old daughter Larose – who she shares with ex-boyfriend Charles Drury – and she is single. 

She has also indulged in reality television stints, appearing on shows such as Dancing On Ice and Celebrity Big Brother. 

During her time in the CBB house she clashed with glamour model Frenchy and fell out with Geordie Shore star Ricci Guarnaccio. 

Yet now a mother and the owner of multiple businesses, she has mellowed, no doubt in part because she’s been through a year of unthinkable trauma. 

It’s also clear that Lauren’s single status is on her terms and a sensible choice while she ‘heals’ from the tragedy she’s faced in recent years. 

In 2022, her second daughter Lorena was born with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and she tragically lost her life. 

Lauren’s face changes when she reflects on the loss. It’s an unimaginable trauma that must be near-impossible to face. 

Lauren speaks about her reinvention from her modest apartment in West Essex, where she lives with her two-year-old daughter Larose, her pride and joy

Lauren speaks about her reinvention from her modest apartment in West Essex, where she lives with her two-year-old daughter Larose, her pride and joy

Lauren shares her daughter with ex Charles Drury and admits it's not always 'been easy' co-parenting but they've been making it work for their two-year-old

Lauren shares her daughter with ex Charles Drury and admits it’s not always ‘been easy’ co-parenting but they’ve been making it work for their two-year-old

On the day of Lorena's funeral in August 2022, Charles was accused of attacking Lauren, which he denied. The case was dropped earlier this year after Lauren withdrew her support

On the day of Lorena’s funeral in August 2022, Charles was accused of attacking Lauren, which he denied. The case was dropped earlier this year after Lauren withdrew her support

Lauren also dated Jake McLean on and off for four years - from 2012 until May 2016 - with Lauren tragically suffering a miscarriage during their relationship

Lauren also dated Jake McLean on and off for four years – from 2012 until May 2016 – with Lauren tragically suffering a miscarriage during their relationship

Before Charles, Lauren dated convict, Joey Morrison, for two years. The couple went their separate ways in 2018, despite Lauren waiting for him while he served time behind bars

Before Charles, Lauren dated convict, Joey Morrison, for two years. The couple went their separate ways in 2018, despite Lauren waiting for him while he served time behind bars

Yet as she explains, she has to be strong for Larose – it’s her firstborn daughter that keeps her going.  

Reflecting on the tragedies she faced in 2022, she shares: ‘Losing my second daughter, the break up, everything that went on around that time, I just went into my own bubble of being a mum. It was Larose that kept me going.

‘You’ll never get over it. You never move on. But you learn to live and heal. I do want to help other people get through it because I can’t.

‘I can’t explain. You would never be able to tell someone the feeling of losing your own child, no one should ever experience that.

‘It changes you as a person because it’s something missing. It’s a heartache feeling every day.’ 

Candidly explaining the toll it took on her mental health, Lauren admits: ‘You just don’t want to be here anymore.

‘The only thing that kept me going was being a mum to Larose and that’s why I’m strong and I can put on a brave face.

‘It’s about having good people around you and Larose is mine. She’s the closest person to me, and that’s why I’m so… I double love her. I double protect her.’ 

On the day of Lorena’s funeral in August 2022, Charles was accused of attacking Lauren. 

He was charged with assault and engaging in controlling or coercive behaviour towards his ex, which he denied.

The case was dropped earlier this year after Lauren withdrew her support for the case, meaning a not guilty verdict was recorded for both charges.

Yet now a mother and the owner of multiple businesses, Lauren has mellowed, no doubt in part because she's been through a year of unthinkable trauma

Yet now a mother and the owner of multiple businesses, Lauren has mellowed, no doubt in part because she’s been through a year of unthinkable trauma

Lauren admits it hasn’t been easy with Charles but insists they’re now in a good place and have been doing everything in their daughter’s best interests and consider each other ‘friends’.

Pragmatic in her approach to co-parenting, Lauren explains: ‘It has not been easy, but we’re at a place at the minute where it is running smoothly. Charles sees Larose very regularly.’

Despite going through the unimaginable trauma of losing Lorena, she remains hopeful that she will one day be able to expand her family. 

Lauren shares: ‘I would like another child but I’m not looking for a man and all that right now.

‘I’ve got a lot of work to do myself. I’ve just come back to the show, working again with TOWIE, so it’s baby steps. 

‘I would probably have more children but I can’t think of anything worse then being in a relationship right now!

‘It’s also such a big deal because Larose comes first. It’s going to take time to bring another man into my life, our life. But I will when the time is right.

‘I’m just doing my thing. I don’t need a relationship, I’m quite content.

‘I also haven’t dated as a mum, it’s going to be different. When she’s staying with her dad, that would be my time.’

 

Lauren gave birth to her second daughter Lorena with Charles in July 2022, but her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and she tragically lost her life

Lauren gave birth to her second daughter Lorena with Charles in July 2022, but her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and she tragically lost her life

Lauren has admitted it hasn't been easy with Charles but they're now in a good place and have been doing everything in their daughter Larose's best interests (pictured in November 2023)

Lauren has admitted it hasn’t been easy with Charles but they’re now in a good place and have been doing everything in their daughter Larose’s best interests (pictured in November 2023) 

Wiser but not jaded when it comes to matters of the heart, she has changed her approach to dating. 

Now, she wants to slow things down rather than the whirlwind romances she’s found herself in before.  

‘I fall in love very quickly and that can be a disaster!’ Lauren acknowledges with a laugh.  ‘Normally I move in after two weeks, and that’s “yeah, yeah, it’s great”, I’m 100 miles an hour.

‘But I’m slowing down now and I’ll meet someone the right way.’

She doesn’t have an extensive list of qualities she looks for in a man, and her request really isn’t unreasonable.

‘I just want a nice, decent man,’ she muses. ‘A good person around my child.

‘I’m a good girlfriend! I am very old fashioned. I’m very loyal and I’m faithful. I’ve got a big heart I’ve got, but there’s loads of layers to me and it takes me a while to open up.’ 

Before Charles, Lauren dated convict, Joey Morrison, for two years. 

The couple went their separate ways in 2018, despite Lauren waiting for him while he served time behind bars.

Lauren also dated Jake McLean on and off for four years – from 2012 until May 2016 – with Lauren tragically suffering a miscarriage during their relationship. 

Lauren doesn't have an extensive list of qualities she looks for in a man, and her request really isn't unreasonable, but for now she's embracing single life

Lauren doesn’t have an extensive list of qualities she looks for in a man, and her request really isn’t unreasonable, but for now she’s embracing single life 

More heartbreak came when in July 2022, Jake died at the age of 33 in a car crash in Turkey, where he was holidaying with his TOWIE star girlfriend Yazmin Oukhellou.

Following his death, it was claimed the that the couple had enjoyed a more recent relationship in secret and were romantically linked up until 2020.

Friends close to the star told that Lauren – who was pregnant with her second child at the time – had naturally been left ‘devastated’ by Jake’s untimely death. 

Lauren’s first, and arguably most high-profile relationship, was with TOWIE star Mark. 

They were the show’s original golden couple, with the first seasons of the structured reality programme charting their turbulent on/off relationship and Mark’s controversial flings with Sam Faiers and Lucy Mecklenburgh.

Mark faced claims that he cheated on Lauren throughout the first series before he proposed to her in a pub car park in the ITV show’s second run.

After a five-month engagement the pair split for the final time in August 2011.

The ups-and-downs of their romance even had his now-wife Michelle gripped at the time, with the then Coronation Street star writing in her Love It Magazine column: ‘I love TOWIE. It’s one of those shows you don’t want to watch, but just can’t help turning on.

‘I don’t know how Lauren can take Mark back so easily, though – it’s so cringe! I wouldn’t be able to get back with someone who’d slept with lots of girls I knew, but that’s just me.’

The TOWIE cast in 2011: Back Row - Kirk Norcross, Billie Faiers, Joey Essex, Lucy Mecklenburgh, James Argent James Argent and Lydia Bright. Seated - Harry Derbidge, Sam Faiers, Mark Wright, Lauren Goodger and Jessica Wright

The TOWIE cast in 2011: Back Row – Kirk Norcross, Billie Faiers, Joey Essex, Lucy Mecklenburgh, James Argent James Argent and Lydia Bright. Seated – Harry Derbidge, Sam Faiers, Mark Wright, Lauren Goodger and Jessica Wright

Last week, Lauren returned to the show that made her a household name, TOWIE, 14 years on from being a permanent castmember

Last week, Lauren returned to the show that made her a household name, TOWIE, 14 years on from being a permanent castmember

Yet ironically it was Michelle that went onto marry Mark, while he and Lauren suffered an extremely acrimonious break-up which led to much mud-slinging. 

Ultimately, Lauren insists she has ‘no regrets’ about any of her time on the show but nowadays, her relationships don’t feature as heavily in the spotlight. 

Nor has Lauren in recent months, having effectively hid away for a year after tragically losing Lorena, trying to process her trauma behind closed doors. 

She announced the loss of her second daughter in an Instagram post, admitting she was ‘broken’ by the experience and asking for privacy to be respected while she grieved. 

I commend her for being so open and honest with the public about her personal struggles, she has undoubtedly helped other women going through similar experiences. 

Yet as Lauren reasons: ‘I can’t set those boundaries, that’s my life. Everything I do is played out for the public, my break ups, my losses. 

‘I can only limit it, and that’s why I wasn’t doing any TV or work like that for a year.’  

Now though feels like the right time for Lauren to make her way back into the spotlight. 

‘I’ve got to work to provide for Larose and I can’t just hide away,’ she explains. ‘I want to face reality.

‘So as much as I’ve been healing and I still am, of course it’s a journey, but going back on TOWIE felt like the best option because it’s where I started.’

Last week, Lauren returned to the show that made her a household name, 14 years after she first appeared on the ITV show. 

Speaking about her comeback, Lauren shared: 'I've not come back to cause any drama, I'm here to be the mother and the big sister... I'm juggling a lot at the moment but life is good'

Speaking about her comeback, Lauren shared: ‘I’ve not come back to cause any drama, I’m here to be the mother and the big sister… I’m juggling a lot at the moment but life is good’

Revealing how it feels being back on the programme, she admits: ‘It’s like I never left! It’s different this time round obviously because I’m a mum but it’s like learning how to drive, you never forget once you’re back in the driving seat! 

‘The show is different now to how it used to be, it’s not as raw and they care more about you this time around. 

‘Back when I first filmed for the show we’d be mic’d up from 10am to 5am and it was like “oh god, what have we said in that time?” but I wouldn’t have changed that because that’s what made it what it was.

‘We’ve just come a long way since then but I’d do it all over again because that’s what people wanted to see. That’s why we’ve got a fan base. 

‘We all had different “characters” to play, even though it was reality. We know what they wanted to see from certain people.

‘We played ball and we’d have meetings to plan story lines. We did what we had to do to keep it entertaining.’

Lauren’s long-awaited return to TOWIE hasn’t just been a treat for fans but herself, as she admits: ‘I forgot who I was for a while. But everyone at work has made me feel really special. I just feel really popular at the minute!

‘I’ve not come back to cause any drama, I’m here to be the mother and the big sister… I’m juggling a lot at the moment but life is good.’ 

TOWIE airs every Sunday night at 9PM on ITVBe and ITVX.

If you have been affected by anything in this article, please contact the UK Child Bereavement line on 0800 02 888 40 or the The Lullaby Trust on 0808 8026868 

Lauren Goodger’s romance history

Mark Wright: 2003-2011

Lauren found fame on The Only Way Is Essex while in an on-off, eight and a half-year relationship with ex-fiancé Mark Wright.

First love: Lauren and Mark pictured in 2011

First love: Lauren and Mark pictured in 2011

Their tumultuous relationship was filled with infidelity on Mark’s part, trust issues, and tensions between Lauren and his family.

The couple cut off their engagement in May 2011, just five months after his proposal, and the presenter went on to marry actress Michelle Keegan, 33, in 2015.

Lauren later revealed she had an abortion at the age of 20 after the couple decided they weren’t ready to become parents.

She told OK! in 2011: ‘I did think I was pregnant. I’m not on the pill and haven’t been for a little while, just because of my cells, not because I was planning a baby and thank God we didn’t.

‘I was late once and I think it was the stress of what was going on. I’ve been pregnant before with his baby but I chose not to have it. I was only 20. No one knows except my close family.’ 

 

Jake McLean: 2012-2016

After splitting from Mark, the media personality dated Jake McLean, 33, on and off for four years – from 2012 until May 2016 – with Lauren suffering a miscarriage during their relationship

Jailbird ex: The influencer pictured with Jake in 2013

Jailbird ex: The influencer pictured with Jake in 2013

The TV star discovered she had lost the unborn child while appearing as a contestant on ITV talent show Dancing On Ice in 2013, and later admitted she has little choice but to ‘carry on.’ 

Discussing the loss on Channel 5 show In Therapy in 2017, she said:  ‘I was on a TV show that was quite intense. I had to try and perform when I was quite far gone. It didn’t last.’ 

Lauren and Jake split for the first time later that year before rekindling their romance in 2015. 

Shortly after their final split in May 2016, Lauren told OK! of her former jailbird ex: ‘I fell out of love with him. I know some people say you wake up one day and things click, but that didn’t happen to me; it was a gradual thing.

‘The relationship was quite hard. I felt like I was the one doing everything and putting the effort in. I’m at the age where I’d like to have children but Jake isn’t the sort of man I’d want to do it with.’ 

Jake was jailed for three-and-a-half years after conning his way into a mother’s house two days before Christmas in 2006, overpowering her before a masked gang ran in and raided the family home.

In July 2022, Jake died at the age of 33 in a car crash in Turkey where he was holidaying with his TOWIE star girlfriend Yazmin Oukhellou.

 

JOEY MORRISION: 2016-2018

The TV star struck up a relationship with another convict, Joey Morrison, but the couple went their separate ways two years later, in 2018, despite Lauren waiting for him while he served time behind bars.

Bad boy: The TV star and convict Joey pictured in 2017

Bad boy: The TV star and convict Joey pictured in 2017

Joey, 31, was given a 16-year prison sentence for a violent offence but was released after nine years – Lauren and Joey split close to his release date.

In 2019, Lauren opened up about her two year romance with Joey, who was sentenced for drug related crimes, saying: ‘My ex was my biggest mistake. I wasted two years when I could have been dating. I wish I hadn’t waited for him to come out.’

Writing previously in new! magazine of her relationship with Joey, she said: ‘I regret giving two and a half years of my life to someone who was in jail only for him to come out and not be what I thought. 

‘I thought we were going to get a house, get married and have kids. I regret the time I’ve wasted.’ 

 

Charles Drury: 2020-2022

In October 2020, Lauren teased she was dating a mystery man, who was soon to be identified as Charles Drury, 23. 

Inseparable: Lauren and Charles pictured in 2020

Inseparable: Lauren and Charles pictured in 2020

The amateur footballer and builder littered his social media account with images of his girlfriend.

Sharing his thoughts on their romance, Charles previously gushed: ‘The story of you & me is my favourite because it’s happening so naturally.’ 

The couple announced they were expecting their first child together, Larose, just three months after going public with their relationship.

They went on to have a second baby, with Loran announcing she was pregnant in January 2022.

Lorena passed away shortly after her birth in June 2022 after 10 doctors fought to save her life when she was born with two knots in her umbilical cord, tied around her neck.

Lauren’s partner has a history of dating older women, having previously enjoyed a brief fling with former glamour model Katie Price, 42, in 2019.

While the pair first split in November 2021 amid claims he was cheating, they reunited in early in 2022 after Lauren fell pregnant but they went their separate ways soon after.

Lauren was allegedly assaulted on the day of her baby’s funeral. Charles was later arrested and bailed following the incident.