WITH a romantic history that would leave many allergic to dating, Kerry Katona could be forgiven for giving Valentine’s Day a swerve.
Her first husband, Westlife’s Brian McFadden, 40, cheated on her with a lap dancer on his stag night.
Her second, taxi driver Mark Croft, 49, helped squander her multimillion-pound fortune as she battled a cocaine addiction.
And her third, rugby league pro George Kay, died aged 39 in July 2019 — four years after their split — after taking cocaine.
But Kerry, 40, refuses to give up on love and will celebrate on February 14 with fiancé Ryan Mahoney, 32, a personal trainer.
She says: “Everybody deserves to be loved and be in love. On Valentine’s Day I’ll be giving Ryan a big hug. He’s a massive softie and we’re very affectionate.
“We’re always holding hands, kissing, cuddling. We will be in the kitchen and DJ, my youngest, will be going, ‘I can hear you kissing’. I’m a very affectionate person and so is Ryan.”
Romantic Ryan hooked up with Kerry after they met on a dating app in July 2018. He couldn’t wait to celebrate Valentine’s.
“He gave me my gift last week,” says Kerry, mum to 19-year-old Molly and Lilly, 18, from her marriage to Brian; 13-year-old Heidi and Max, 12, from her marriage to Mark; and six-year-old Dylan-Jorge with George.
“He gave me a pair of handmade Dolce & Gabbana trainers with both our names on, telling me he loves me.
“I said to him, ‘There’s seven of us in this family, which means seven different birthday presents. Then our anniversary from the day we met.
"And now we’re getting married, which we’ll have to do wedding anniversary presents, so from now on we’re keeping Valentine’s simple’.”
Kerry accepted Ryan’s proposal last September while on a family holiday in Spain.
It represents a huge turnaround for Kerry.
She split from George in June 2015 and feared she would never heal her broken heart.
She says: “For so long, the thought of being in a relationship would make me physically sick.
“I couldn’t think of anything worse.
“I almost thought that because I’d had all these failures, I didn’t deserve to be in a relationship.
“But I also craved a hug. I craved a touch and I craved somebody, not one of my children, asking me how my day was.
"And I finally found it with Ryan. I’ve been married, divorced, married, divorced — and now I’m a widow.
“But I believe it doesn’t matter how many times you fail as long as you keep getting back up.
“Everyone deserves their ‘happily ever after’.”
Now Kerry, who is starring in MTV reality show Celebs On The Farm, is adamant that after decades of disastrous relationships, she has finally found the man she will grow old with.
She says: “After three years I’m normally engaged, married, pregnant and divorced, and we’ve only just got engaged, so we’re doing something completely different this time but we’re in no rush to go get married.
“We haven’t got a wedding date. We’re just going to run off and do it without telling anybody.”
And with five children already, Kerry is in no hurry for more.
She says: “I’ve already got a bleeding orphanage here!
“I don’t want any more but if I was going to have a child, it would be by surrogacy.”
Kerry has also found time in lockdown to reflect on her tumultuous past.
She says: “My first marriage breaking down wasn’t my fault. He cheated on me.
“The second marriage not working was partly my fault as it should never have happened.
“And my third marriage I knew exactly what I was getting in to. I wanted a bad boy.
“But the whole thing was never the plan. I never thought, ‘When I grow up, I’m going to have five kids by three different fellas’.
“That wasn’t my dream. But it’s happened and this is how life has turned out. I’ve no regrets.”
The former Atomic Kitten singer, who was working as a lap dancer at the age of 17, grew up with foster families due to her mother’s drug addiction.
Now, having turned 40 last year, she is celebrating everything positive in her life.
That includes her new career as an online pin-up via the OnlyFans website and daughter Lilly turning 18 last week.
She says: “I look at Lilly and I tease her. I go, ‘Look, you’re the before, I’m the after — this is what you’ve got to look forward to!’
“But listen. If I can pull a fella eight years younger than me and get him to ask me to marry him — for my fourth time — then I’ve definitely still got it!
“Ryan tells me I’m good at something, but I can’t tell you what it is. I’ll leave that to your imagination.”
That renewed self-confidence has been further boosted by her success on OnlyFans, where fans pay just over £20 a month to view saucy snaps of Kerry.
One report claimed she banked £284,000 in the first five months after her debut in May.
Kerry, who has twice been declared bankrupt, says: “I started off as a Page 3 model. I was a glamour model. I was a lap dancer.
“I’ve always been very open about my body.
“I’m not going to tell you how much I’ve made but it’s been phenomenal.
Honestly, it’s turned my life around. I used to walk out on a beach topless on a family holiday and paps would get a s**tload of pictures, then sell them for s**tloads and I’d get nothing. But now I feel really empowered by OnlyFans.
“I can take control of it and I’m loving it.
“If anything, it’s given me so much confidence and I love the fact that women my age and older can have that body-confidence.
“My inspiration is Davina McCall. She looks so good. If I looked like Davina McCall, I’d be walking round with titty tassels on.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been more together than what I am right now.
"And after the life I chose about 15 years ago, I feel like I’m one of the lucky ones who was able to turn it all around. I shouldn’t be here.
“I’ve moved on and the most important thing is to be yourself and love yourself.
“Love yourself and everything else will fall into place. I don’t rely on my Ryan for my happiness or my love. He enhances it.”
- Celebs On The Farm is on MTV, nightly at 9
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