Sunday, July 11, 2004

Mama You've Been On His Mind

The Sunday Mirror Reports:

Exclusive By Danielle Lawler

THE mother of rock star Pete Doherty has told how her son's £1,000-a-day heroin addiction has broken her heart. Jacqueline Doherty says: "It's bizarre. I look at his body and wonder where did my little boy go? He's not my Pete - my son wouldn't do anything like taking drugs. "But I don't fear death for him. At least he wouldn't be in this living heroin hell he is now."

"I'll always be there for my son, but he's broken my heart." She spoke out after the Sunday Mirror's exclusive interview last week with Doherty, 24, when he spoke of his spiralling drug addiction and his sacking from top band The Libertines. He was forced out after his third failed attempt to kick his heroin habit. "I have cried so many tears over Pete," says Jacqueline, 50. "The reality now is either death or being messed up with his head mangled on drugs. Or he could turn and become the person he should have become in the first place.

"He was so clever at school, I thought he might become an English professor." The mother-of-three gave Pete a strict Catholic upbringing during his years growing up in Liverpool and London's Shepherd's Bush. But she says the family have been torn apart by his attempts at self-destruction. His father, also called Peter, and two sisters, aged 26 and 17, are devastated to see the change in him. "Pete used to make us all laugh but now we are crying. I just pray at some point he'll see how he's pushing everyone away who loves him." Jacqueline, who is a nurse, predicted his downward spiral when Pete admitted smoking cannabis at 18.

"I said 'It will lead to heroin - every heroin addict started with cannabis.' "He told me I was over-reacting - but I was right." Brainy Pete gained 11 A* GCSEs and four A-Levels before going to university to study English. But after six months he dropped out to form the Libertines. "Eventually he admitted he'd been taking heroin and crack cocaine. I was devastated and asked why. He said he wanted to experience everything." He promised never to take drugs again, but a year later Jacqueline stayed with him at the Priory rehab clinic in London. "It was his second go at rehab. I stayed with him for nine days. When I searched his room I found heroin in his pillow, taped underneath chairs - he'd stashed it everywhere. He got through the detox stage but he was determined not to stay at the Priory and left."

Doherty revealed last week how his mum blackmailed him to attend a strict clinic in Thailand by refusing to get treatment on a lump she found in her breast until he went. Jacqueline, who lives with the rest of the family in Germany for work reasons, was later given the all-clear, but Pete dropped out of the clinic before he was cured. "He called me after he walked out of the Priory to tell me he was on his way to Thailand, I hoped the Thai clinic could help him but again it was for all the wrong reasons," says Jacqueline. "He was trying to please me."

However, she hopes being axed by the Libertines may help Pete, who lives in squats around North London, in the long run. "Maybe it's better if they go their separate ways and get on with their lives. There is too much stigma surrounding The Libertines, Pete and drugs.

"It would be good if he had a clean break and started again."