"Compared to what was happening with Martin, it was nothing huge. "But at the time, it felt like everything was going wrong." With Martin - today a huge hit as East Enders bad boy Steve Owen - unable to continue his acting career, they were forced to reorganise their finances radically. It made me realise the money we'd wasted before." It was yet another dramatic turnaround for Shirlie whose life had already fundamentally changed since Martin's surgery in 1995. Suddenly, it was the other way round." Shirlie, 38, is speaking for the first time about the terror and upheaval that followed her discovery of a bump on Martin's head as she lovingly cradled him in a LA hotel room.
The couple and their two young children moved from their home on Hampstead Heath to a smaller place in Muswell Hill. Though his ordeal served to strengthen the deep love they held for each other, it did change the nature of their relationship. For the past five years, she has refused to talk about how she cared for and comforted him while making sure that son Roman, seven, and 11-year-old daughter Harley carried on their carefree lives.
At last night’s Brit Awards an emotional trio made their first appearance on stage together in 31 years, tragically missing one member of their close knit group.
The members of Wham, vocalist Andrew Ridgeley and backing dancers Pepsi and Shirlie paid an emotional tribute to frontman George Michael who died on Christmas Day. The Final concert at Wembley in June 1986 and despite multiple rumours of a reunion, they never performed again as a group.
I have always been a strong visualiser and could see that I needed to be creative again. Don’t be put off going to the gym – you need to look after yourself ! A friend gave it to me to read when my husband Martin was ill will a brain tumour. You Can Heal Your Life really helped to look at my life differently and cope mentally.
It would have been embarrassing if none of us liked her. We'd gone somewhere, maybe it was a party with George and Andrew, and I went to the toilets and just broke down in tears and said: "I can't do this any longer." She just said: "It's all right, I know you love your family so much." I felt so guilty, but I just wanted to stay at home.
But I really did, because although she looked quite tomboyish, she had this strong feminine streak: she's very warm and there's quite a vulnerable side to her. Then "Goodbye Stranger" made it into the Top Five in April/May the same year. I was 26; I'd met Martin when I was 20 and just knew I would be with him. And we had a lot of problems with management and things, too.
All they were told was: "Daddy had a bump on his head." Not only did Shirlie avoid the Press, she also turned away from her closest friends: "I didn't want sympathy. I'd be out somewhere and I'd start sweating, my heart would race and I'd go hot and cold.
People said: 'You're so strong' and I was thinking: 'No, I'm not! My heart's breaking.' But what was the point in talking about it. At one point, I thought there was something physically wrong so I went to my doctor, who reminded me I had a lot to deal with.