Kelly Holmes in tears over hiding sexuality ‘Had a breakdown – didn’t know what I’d do’

Dame Kelly Holmes came out as gay this weekend and joined Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on This Morning to talk about her sexuality. The Olympian broke down in tears on the ITV programme as she admitted she felt she needed to reveal she was gay after suffering from a breakdown.

Opening up on her mental health, the Olympic gold medalist said: “I’ve always been able to relate it to sport – being disappointed, having injuries and yes there was an element of that because I wanted to be an Olympic champion since 14 and it was me.”

Choking up, Kelly said: “But I became a self-harmer, I didn’t want to be here frankly at some points in my life. 

“I’ve been in a bad way a lot and in 2020 I had a really bad breakdown. I knew if I couldn’t release it, then I didn’t know what I was going to do, so I had to do it.”

The Olympian’s new documentary Kelly Holmes: Being Me airs on ITV on Sunday.

Read more: Phillip Schofield breaks down as Kelly Holmes opens up on coming out

“I was in there for nearly 10 years and yet I couldn’t express that. It was really difficult because there was interrogation that happened,” she said.

“In the documentary, I explain it a lot and I speak to people that dealt with some shocking things, but for me personally, having raids, it was scary, humiliating, embarrassing.”

She continued: “People were tipped off, the Royal Military Police would come into your barracks and literally turn everything upside down, take everything out, you’d be left with your belongings laying around. They were trying to find any evidence you might be.

“If you got tipped off… you’d put everything into a box that wasn’t anything to do with your sexuality, into a box and hide it in the boot of a car because you don’t want to risk being court marshalled.”

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“It’s a career, people fight for their country, put their lives on the line,” the Olympian remarked.

“But saying that the documentary also goes through how great it is now.

“I’ve been so scared if anyone found out… for 34 years. It was only when I had a really bad breakdown in December 2020 that I knew I had to do something because it was so bad.”

Kelly came out in an interview with the Sunday Mirror before opening up to her fans on Instagram.

She wrote: “I can finally breathe. Yes I have been petrified of putting this out – you have no idea.

“This journey has been the hardest part of life. Living with any kind of fear is debilitating”.

Before 2000, gay, transgender and bisexual people in the military faced prions if their sexuality or gender identity was discovered.

This changed after four servicemen and women won a case in the European Court of Human Rights after being sacked for being gay.

This Morning airs on ITV on weekdays at 10am.

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