10 February 2020 10:34

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Kate Wright left Rio Ferdinand and returned to Essex after feeling 'so low'

"My mum thought I'd lost my mind," says Kate Ferdinand. The wife of former England and Manchester United defender, Rio, is discussing how her family first reacted to the news that she was dating an older man with three kids who had recently lost his first wife to cancer. Kate is 27 and 12 years younger than Rio. She admits that she was a "bit naive," about what life would be like as a stepmum to his three kids - Tia, 8, Tate, 11 and Lorenz, 13,. About six months after they met, Rio's mum, Janice, also died of cancer adding to the family's grief and the emotional challenge facing Kate. She claims this is for several reasons including the fact that kids can only be associated with one household so if mum and dad both go on to have new relationships the children will only be "counted once".

Before meeting Rio through friends on holiday in Dubai, Kate was living a very different life as a reality TV star on The Only Way is Essex. Image caption Kate and Rio encouraged the kids to go to grief counselling Her role on Towie gave her an idea of what life in the spotlight was like, but it was nothing compared to the scrutiny she would face when news of her relationship with Rio hit the headlines in early 2017. You would be worried about the new person coming in [to the family] and think - is she the right role model for the children?" It seems clear that Kate has helped Rio and his kids move forward. Rio says his oldest son, Lorenz, sums it best: "He says it's a 'brighter house' since Kate came - listening to the kids warms my heart because I know we've made the right decision". The former Towie star married Rio four years after wife Rebecca died of breast ­cancer in 2015 aged just 34 — and initially felt like she could never fit in.

10 Kate Wright married Rio last year after taking on the role of stepmum to the former England captain's children Credit: Social Media - Refer to Source But Kate is now happily part of the Ferdinand clan, taking on the role of stepmum to the former England captain's sons Lorenz, 13, Tate, 11, and eight-year-old daughter Tia. Recalling those troubled early days, Kate says: "I felt judged and that I couldn't live up to the memory of Rebecca. 10 Kate has taken on the role of step-mum to Rio's three children Lorenz, 13, Tate, 11, and Tia, 8 Credit: Instagram 10 Kate Ferdinand breaks down in tears during the emotional new documentary She confesses in Rio And Kate: Becoming A Step-family: "I feel like a failure a lot. Kate and Rio Ferdinand's documentary about becoming a family will air later this month Credit: BBC To turn the situation around and help them work through their grief, Rio, Kate and Rebecca's family went to counselling together. Rio tried to help Kate with her discomfort by removing photos of Rebecca from around the house. Kate was later able to redo the kitchen so she felt like the family home was hers as well.

Recalling how she felt moving in, Kate says: "After six months I became obsessed with wanting the Molton Brown Rhubarb & Rose soap that I always have at home, just to have a smell I knew. 10 Rio tried to help Kate with her discomfort by removing photos of Rebecca from around the house Credit: Alamy It was Rio's decision to involve his three children in his relationship with Kate that really helped them to become a family together. 10 Rio tragically lost his wife, Rebecca Ferdinand, to breast cancer in 2015 Credit: Rex Features Tate said in his speech on the big day: "Congratulations to Kate and Dad. I love you both so much and I'm so happy we finally reached the wedding day." 10 Rio got his wife's approval to date Kate Credit: Instagram Rio Ferdinand has spoken about how hearing his children talk about their grief after the death of their mother impacted him, saying it "broke him a little bit". Two years later, the same year that his mother Janice St Fort died from cancer, the former professional footballer released a Bafta-winning BBC One documentary called Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad, in which he discussed how he and his children coped with their loss. The new film, which is due to air on BBC One on Monday evening, details the struggles the former The Only Way Is Essex star faced being welcomed into the fold as a stepparent, in addition to how Ferdinand's children — 13-year-old Lorenz, 11-year-old Tate and eight-year-old Tia — have been processing their grief.

Lorenz, the eldest of the three children, says he felt "worried about Dad coping" when his mother died, recalling how after being put to bed by his father, he would go downstairs and see several beer bottles on the side. "The scene where Lorenz says 'I came down after Dad put me to bed sometimes and in the morning I saw there were beers there' — you put your kids to bed and you think, that's it, and he didn't have any idea what was going on. Throughout the documentary, Wright speaks about the difficulty of not feeling accepted by certain friends and family members during the early stages of her relationship with Ferdinand, making her feel like a "failure" a lot of the time. At the documentary screening, Ferdinand explained how he and Wright have strived to include the children in every big decision of their relationship. A couple of years down the line, Lorenz and Tate walked Wright down the aisle at her wedding to Ferdinand, while Tia was her maid of honour.

Rio and Kate: Becoming a Stepfamily airs tonight at 9pm on BBC One. Kate Wright says she upped and left Rio Ferdinand and returned to Essex after going through a difficult time. "I cried every single day for a year when I first moved in with Rio," she says. Kate says it was an 'incredibly difficult' time because Rio's mum Janice had passed away from cancer in 2017 just two years after Rio and the children had lost his wife Rebecca. Kate, 28, and Rio, 41, started dating in 2017 and the couple married in a lavish three-day celebration in September 2019. The documentary, Rio and Kate: Becoming a Stepfamily - airs on BBC One at 9pm tomorrow night. It follows Rio's emotional BAFTA-winning 2017 documentary Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum And Dad, which followed the footballer having to come to terms with losing his wife and being the sole parent to their children. The programme see Kate integrating into the Ferdinand family and her struggles while becoming a stepmum to Lorenz, 12, Tate, 10, and Tia, eight. In the trailer for the documentary, the former reality star is seen breaking down in tears as she says: "I just want the children to be happy." The football pundit, who lost his first wife and mother to his children Rebecca in May of 2015 after she had a long battle with breast cancer, says he was in a "bad place" as he dealt with his grief and turned to booze when his kids - Lorenz, 13, Tate, 11, and Tia, eight - went to bed. In their upcoming documentary Rio And Kate: Becoming A Step Family, which will be broadcast on BBC1 at 9pm on Monday his son Lorenze is set to discuss waking up to fins empty beer bottles morning after morning. Now, in a new interview Rio has spoken on how he did not know his children was aware of his drinking habit and how he beat it when he met his new wife ex-TOWIE star Kate. They new film also includes a confession from Rio as he admits that he feared he would never find love again when Rebecca died. "When you speak to the kids and the response is much more fun in the house, like – what dad couldn't want that? Kate and Rio tied the knot in Turkey last year, and Rio credits the making of new BBC documentary Rio And Kate: Becoming A Step Family with helping them talk through their issues. *Rio And Kate: Becoming A Step Family airs Monday February 10 at 9pm on BBC1