Danielle lloyd interview with Michael and his fiancée

After her last marriage ended in heartbreak, no one would have blamed Danielle Lloyd for believing she wouldn’t find her happy ending. But as the OK! team arrive at her grand, gated house in a small village on the outskirts of Birmingham, the former model couldn’t look happier. And we quickly discover why. This is Michael, she giggles, introducing us to her boyfriend of nine months, normalelectrician Michael O’Neill. But he’s no longer her boyfriend! Fianc©, Danielle says, correcting herself as she proudly flashes a huge diamond ring on her left hand, thought to be valued in the region of £100,000. The clearly besotted pair got engaged the day before Valentine’s Day during a surprise trip to five-star London hotel Claridge’s. Michael is not into big, attentionseeking gestures, Danielle, 32, tells us. So it was even more special that he’d arranged the hotel and had got the ring made. I was over the moon, she gushes. And the ring? Isn’t it amazing?smiles the mum of three as she shows us the six-carat sparkler. It’s a copy of a ring I fell in love with when we were in Dubai.

In proposing to and eventually marrying Danielle, Michael, 29, is also set to become stepfather to her three children from her marriage to Premiership footballer Jamie O’Hara. Evidence of the boys Archie, five, Harry, four, and twoyear-old George is everywhere, from the school achievement certificates taped to the fridge to the trio of scooters by the front door. And though the pair confess their desire for a child of their own I’d like one, Michael says two, confides Danielle it is clear Michael is also a father figure in the boyslives. I knew from the beginning that Danielle and the kids came as a package, says Michael. I love spending time with them; football, rough and tumble. It’s like having a fourth kid!laughs Danielle. It’s clear Michael has had a big influence not only on Danielle, but on the boys, too. I was low and depressed after my divorce from Jamie, says Danielle. Our house is a much, much happier place now Michael’s here. Danielle and Michael, who have just returned from doing the school run and visiting the gym together, are clearly smitten, finishing each other’s sentences and giggling constantly. My mum and dad say she’s the female version of me, laughs Michael.

And no one deserves this happiness more than former glamour model Danielle, who won the Miss Great Britain title in 2006. Her marriage to Jamie imploded when she discovered he’d been unfaithful a string of times, including in their marital home. I do not regret anything, Danielle says of her marriage. If I did, I wouldn’t have my boys. But I feel happier now than I have ever been. The pair have only been together for nine months, but Michael moved in after three months and they are celebrating their engagement just six months later. We’ve done everything on fast forward, says Danielle. But it just felt right. Adds Michael: We’re in no rush to set the date, though we are going to enjoy this year just for us. As we chat over cups of tea and Rich Tea biscuits, Danielle and Michael reveal their plans to marry at Claridge’s where Michael proposed, their hopes for a little girl and the role Michael plays in Danielle’s sonslives

Congratulations on your engagement! How did it happen?

Danielle: Coincidentally, my brother Matthew had got engaged to his girlfriend Kirsty the day before us in Barcelona. Matthew had organised for there to be rose petals and champagne there when Kirsty opened the door to the hotel room and then got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. He recorded the whole thing and then posted it on Facebook. Michael and I were spending the weekend in London, as we often do when it is Jamie’s weekend with the boys, and decided to stay at Claridge’s. We’d been for lunch at Nobu and had a few drinks so when we arrived at the hotel, I decided to make a spoof video, saying things like: Oooh Michael, where are my rose petals?But I was just having a laugh! Then I went into the bathroom while jokingly saying: I have got such a rubbish boyfriend, but when I came out again there Michael was, sitting on the bed with the ring box.

What did he say? Danielle: Am I such a rubbish boyfriend now?!And I replied: Well, what’s that for?and he said: You know!But I played dumb as I wanted him to properly say: Will you marry me?There was no kneeling, though; he’s not the kneeling type!

What did you say when he actually asked you?

Yes, of course! And then I cried and said I’d have to tell my mum and dad but Michael had already told them.

Michael: I didn’t ask permission, but I told them what I was planning and they seemed really happy. I texted Danielle’s mum with a picture of the ring, saying: Look what I have got, and she replied: It’s lovely but I’m taken, Michael!I get on really well with Danielle’s parents, we have had a very easy relationship right from the beginning.

Were you nervous about proposing, Michael?

No, I do not really get nervous. I wouldn’t have proposed if I thought there was a possibility she’d say no. It was what we both wanted.

Were you surprised, Danielle?

Completely. Obviously we’d discussed marriage from quite early on in our relationship, but Michael had managed to keep the ring and the details of the proposal a complete surprise. Did it work out how you’d planned it, Michael? I knew I wanted a low-key proposal. I wouldn’t want everyone looking at us or knowing what was going on in a restaurant. I hate trying to be the big I am. Danielle: I said afterwards that Michael’s proposal was so us there’s no point in trying to pretend to be something we are not. Having a big, showy proposal is just not him and that’s why I love him, because he’s different.

What happened next?

Michael: I’d brought a bottle of champagne with me so we had a couple of glasses while Danielle called her parents and some of her friends. Danielle: Then we went for a few drinks at the bar in Claridge’s that was where we had the idea that it would be the perfect place to get married.

Have you told Jamie about your engagement?

Danielle: Not yet, I do not feel the need to. I’m sure the boys will probably tell him in time.

Does any part of you feel upset that this is your second marriage?

Danielle: No, because I try to learn by my previous decisions. And hopefully this marriage will be different to my last one and Michael won’t cheat!

You moved in together after three months and are now engaged after nine months. What would you say to somebody who said you were rushing things?

Danielle: I made it clear to Michael early on that because I have three children, if we were going to be together that it had to be serious. I didn’t want to make any mistakes, I wanted us to be secure and that means being married.

Michael: It just happened. It just felt right from the start. You get people who have been together years and years, and then get married and then divorced. I do not think you can judge a relationship on time for me it is a case of when you know, you know.

What is it about Danielle that made you sure that she was The One, Michael?

She’s as mad as me. We have really similar senses of humour we have a laugh and do not take ourselves too seriously. When my mum and dad met her they said she was the female version of me. It felt as if we’d known each other for years right from the start it was comfortable, nothing felt awkward. We have a very easy relationship. I never felt that I had to try and impress Danielle, I was myself and she liked me for me. We just fitted.

Have you had long-term relationships before, Michael?

Yeah, I was with someone for about five years, but I think I have grown up since then. I’m 29 now and I was probably quite immature in relationships in my early twenties. Now I feel ready to settle down and commit.

There were rumours you were engaged last year after you were spotted wearing a ring

Danielle: Yes, when we went to Barbados I wore a ring I’d bought myself in Dubai and put it on my left hand as my right hand had swollen up on the flight. Then we were papped and people jumped to all sorts of conclusions.

Michael, who’d planned to propose first, you or Danielle’s brother?

We were planning it around the same time and I actually organised Matthew’s ring via my friend who works in the Birmingham jewellery quarter who also made Danielle’s. There was no awkwardness between me and Matthew, though it was more a case of whoever’s ring arrived first would propose first. As it worked out, Matthew proposed before me so I was just anxious not to take attention away from him.

Had you been planning it for a long time?

I hid the ring in my underwear drawer for about a week and I kept sneaking upstairs to look at it. We had the kids the first weekend after the ring arrived and then the following weekend they were away at their dad’s and it was Valentine’s Day, so I thought that would be perfect timing.

Tell us about the ring it is huge

Danielle: I can’t stop looking at it. It’s six carats on a platinum band. Michael: It’s a copy of one Danielle fell in love with when we were in Dubai for the Grand Prix last year. I took a quick snap of it then and kept it on my phone, ready to use when the time was right. It’s a leap year, and February 29 is when women are said to be able to propose to men.

You weren’t tempted, Danielle?

[To Michael] No way would I ask you, no way! Can you imagine? It’s a man’s job.

How did you tell the boys?

Danielle: We told them when they got home on the Sunday evening. They were so happy, running around saying: Mummy and Michael are getting married.

Michael: Archie said: Does this mean we get a little sister?

Michael: That was the first time I’d really experienced in your facepaparazzi we get the odd photographer but nothing like that. Did people asking if you were engaged put pressure on you to pop the question, Michael? Oh no, stuff like that does not bother me!

When did you first start thinking about marriage, Michael?

what was funny is that we had been speaking about getting married around christmas time, which was when we went to barbados. Danielle: i’d said we needed to be committed before we even started thinking about having a family. Michael: so i came home from barbados and went to see my jeweller friend with the picture i took in dubai.

So when will the wedding be?

Michael: either 2017 or 2018 depending on whether we decide to have a baby first or get married first. Danielle: it depends how much the wedding costs and claridge’s won’t come cheap! there’s no rush, though. even though everything else in our relationship has been a rush and been on fast forward, i want us to enjoy being engaged before we hurry to get married.

How do you mean?

Danielle: this year we are just going to enjoy ourselves, we have got loads of holidays planned.

Does being engaged feel different?

Michael: not to me, it is just the same. i do not see what the difference is. Danielle: michael’s so laid back. he always said he didn’t see the point in marriage either. Michael: i used to think it was a waste of time. and i do think marriage and the wedding itself particularly is more for girls. it is more important to danielle than it is to me, but i can’t wait for us to be married and become a proper family unit.

Would you agree that marriage is more important to you, Danielle?

yeah, i want the stability for my boys. i want a proper family for them. i think it is important they know that michael’s going to be around forever. i do think things change when you are married. Danielle: we are going to have a diamond themed party any excuse for a party! but because my brother’s also just got engaged, we want to let him enjoy his moment first. Michael: my mum’s so excited so it will be nice for us all to get together and celebrate. Michael: but i think that’s all in people’s heads.

Will you change your name, Danielle?

yes, i’ll become o’neill, but for work purposes i’ll keep lloyd.

How do you think this marriage will be different from your first?

Danielle: well hopefully he won’t fri**ing cheat! i feel like michael and i are a lot more equal than Jamie and i used to be. i get a lot more help and support from michael, not just around the house or with the boys but emotional support. i still have my up and down days and michael is always there for me. last night, for instance, we thought someone was trying to break into the house as the alarm went off it turned out to be a false alarm but i was freaked out, so michael stayed in with me instead of going to the gym as he could see i was jittery. he just gets me.

Why do you want to get married at Claridge’s, Danielle?

apart from the romantic aspect of it being the place that michael proposed, i think it is just so english and elegant. for us it would be so special, we thought it almost straight away. hopefully we can make it happen.

You’ve spoken previously about getting married abroad

Danielle: i’d be quite happy going away and doing it on a beach, but obviously we have got to think about our families. the wedding won’t be massive but we will have a good party.

Have you thought about what kind of dress you’d like, Danielle?

not really. i had a massive dress for my first wedding but i think the trend now is for slimmer silhouettes so i think something more fitted. Just like big boobs have gone out of fashion, big dresses have gone out of fashion, too! Michael: i’ve seen a nice dolce & Gabbana suit in harrods that i’d like. i even thought we could get the boys miniature versions made! we will have to start saving, now i’ve finished paying for that [gestures towards danielle’s ring, laughing]. initially i thought i’d like a light blue tuxedo, like they have in Dumb & Dumber Danielle: you might not get invited if you are going to wear that!

You and Jamie had a big wedding with lots of celebrity guests will you do it differently this time?

mine and Jamie’s wedding is not even a factor in our decisions. this is mine and michael’s day and we are going to do it how we want.

Would you like to get married in a church?

Danielle: i’d like to. i wanted to have a church service when i married Jamie, but for one reason or another that didn’t end up happening. i’m not overly religious, i do not go to church every week, but i do take the boys to the lovely little church at the end of the road and had them christened there. i’m also good friends with phil moon the vicar there he supported me through my divorce.

Will the boys be involved in the ceremony?

Danielle: i’d love them to be page boys, if they can behave! i’d like them to get involved in things like the food tasting, too.

Will you let Danielle take the lead with the planning, Michael?

yes, that’s her area. as long as it is not tacky i do not mind. i wouldn’t know where to start with flowers or table cloths. i’ll help pick the food as that’s something i feel comfortable with, but apart from that danielle can have free rein!

Do you think you will invite famous faces?

Michael: Ideally, but you never know how these things will pan out.

Will being married change your role within the boyslives, Michael?

I’ll officially be their stepfather, I suppose, but day to day I won’t treat them any differently. I grew up with two naughty little brothers I’m ten years older than them and I’d like to think I have a similar big brotherrole in the boyslives. Danielle: The four of them are always messing around together it is like I have got four kids now, not three. George is Michael’s sidekick. He does not shout for Mummy any more, it is always: Michael, Michael, Michael. It’s lovely for me to see, though.

What do you make of the furore surrounding you posting a picture of Michael cuddling Archie to your Instagram account [right]?

I cant believe it is been that much of a big thing to me it was just a sweet moment that I wanted to capture. Michael plays a father role to the children, he bathes them, he dresses them, he feeds them, he gets up with them in the night when they are sick. If Archie chooses to go and give Michael a cuddle in the morning before getting ready for school, I think that’s lovely. The boys are with Michael every single day and I’m happy that I have found someone who loves my kids as much as I do. I think it is so sweet that Archie feels close enough to Michael to do that. The divorce was very hard on Archie particularly, as he was old enough to be aware of what was going on, so it is great that he has that relationship with Michael now.

Was Michael annoyed at you?

No, he knew I was taking the picture. No one knows what goes on behind our closed doors so for them to attach anything negative to that image is horrible.

Danielle: Only my friends, who happen to be famous we won’t invite famous people for the sake of it. I’d want Katie Price and Michelle Heaton and their partners to be there the three of us have almost grown up together in the public eye. Then I’m really good friends with Denise Van Outen and Abbey Clancy so they’ll be invited along with Denise’s boyfriend Eddie [Boxshall] and Abbey’s husband Peter [Crouch]. Gemma Merna from Hollyoaks is also a friend of mine so I’d love her to be there. Also Amy Childs, who I have known for years she used to do my spray tans way before she was even in TOWIE. And Billi Mucklow, Cara Kilbey, Kym Marsh and Dawn Ward would also get invitations. Hopefully Helen Flanagan and her partner Scott Sinclair will come, Helen’s so lovely. And Jennifer Ellison who I have been friends with for a long, long time. So we will probably have facesthere but it won’t be a big celebrity affair.

Did any of those come to your first wedding?

Kate [Price] and Michelle [Heaton] did. But plenty of people have two weddings lots of people have three or four, in fact! Katie and Michelle have always been my friends even though we may not speak every day, I know they are always on the end of the phone if I need them.

You’ve been trying to sell this house for some time. How’s it going?

We’ve had lots of interest but still a sale hasn’t gone through. We’ve also had two offers fall through right at the last stage. Michael: But we can move into my house at any point so we will do that soon if it does not sell. Danielle: Whoever does end up buying this house will be really lucky as it is such a beautiful home.

Will you be sad to move out?

Danielle: In a way. I will miss all the space and the boys will miss being able to ride their scooters around, but I’m really exited to get a house that is just ours, our little project. It will be nice to put a full stop on the Jamie post of my life and not have any ties. Apart from the children, of course.

Michael: To me, this is just where Danielle and the kids live and the quicker it goes, the better.

Do you understand why it may have been hard for Jamie to see a picture like that, though?

Yes, but at the same time Jamie knows that his children live with Michael and he’s not na¯ve enough to think that they wouldn’t have bonded with him. I know that my kids spend time with Jamie’s girlfriend Liz [Tierney] and they probably sit and cuddle her, too. Yes, it is not the nicest thing to think about, but it is the reality of our situation after the divorce. Posting the picture wasn’t malicious in any way, I didn’t ask Archie to pose with Michael to do Jamie’s head in. I doubt Jamie follows me on Instagram anyway!

Have you and Jamie discussed Michael’s role in the boyslife?

Not really, it is what it is. Michael has respect for Jamie and vice versa. Michael knows the boys are Jamie’s kids. And when they do drop-offs and pickups, Michael and Jamie get along fine. And you want more children with Michael too Danielle: Definitely. I say one, Michael says two, although once he has one he might change his mind! No kids for this year, though. I’d love a little girl.

Why do you want to wait before starting a family, Danielle?

We just want to enjoy ourselves this year. When I went through my divorce I didn’t work for almost a year, so I want to concentrate on myself for the time being. All three kids are in school now so this is the time for me I want to work hard and play hard.

Would you like to be in your new family home before getting married?

Is it important for you to have a child of your own with Danielle, Michael?

Yes. I never used to think about it when I was younger, but being around the boys and seeing their bond with Danielle has changed me. It has softened me. Not that I see the boys any different to a child of my own, but I’d love our own child to celebrate our relationship. That must be lovely to hear, Danielle It is. Michael has changed, he’s a big softie now! Michael: I used to think, whatever happens, happens. But now, with Danielle, I want to make plans for the future.

Michael, when you initially met Danielle, did you know who she was?

I knew of her and knew who her ex was but I didn’t know she had three kids. To me, she was just a girl.

Were you ever put off by the fact that she already had children?

No, I know a lot of people would be, but to me the boys are all part of Danielle so it didn’t bother me. There weren’t any lies; the boys were part of the deal from the very beginning. My dad left my mum when I was very little and I was raised by my stepdad, who I now see as my real dad. If you love someone, you accept their situation, whatever it is.

How do you two divide the childcare
and housework?

Michael: I’m self-employed, I have a big firm of electricians, so my working day can fit around the boys and I can always send one of my guys if I can’t make a job. One day that might mean bath time, one day the school run, one day football in the back garden. Anything that needs doing, I’m there. Danielle: The boys rely on him so much and it is been so brilliant for them to have a male presence in the house again, they are definitely happier. The only thing Michael does not do is cook. I’m the chef in this house.

Was your divorce hard on the boys, Danielle?

Definitely. They’re much happier now Michael is here. It’s not that I didn’t have time for them when I was going through the divorce, but emotionally I was a bit absent. I was drained and depressed. If they were being naughty I would just fly off the handle, but now this house is a proper happy home again. Michael’s good cop and I’m bad cop!

We know you are quite private, Michael have you found it a hard adjustment going out with Danielle as she’s in the public eye?

I’m starting to get used to it, but I still find it strange when people are taking our pictures. I’m really not interested in fame!

Do you ever feel insecure that Danielle’s ex was a footballer, Michael?

Not in terms of material things. But it is hard that she never seems to be allowed to move on from her ex; she’s always Danielle Lloyd, Jamie O’Hara’s exrather than just Danielle Lloyd. Hopefully us getting married might put a stop to that.

Danielle, are you and Michael still hitting the gym together?

We try to go as much as we can but I have put on weight since meeting Michael. [To Michael] We both have, have not we? I do not mind too much, though, it just means you are happy. We’re really comfortable with each other. Michael: I had a six-pack before I met Danielle!

How much weight have you put on, Danielle?

About a stone! At my lowest I was nine stone [Danielle is 5ft 7in], that’s when Michael met me, but I didn’t look good, I do not suit being that thin. That’s when I was really unhappy, so it wasn’t good.

Are you healed now from your corrective breast surgery last November?

Completely, and I’m so happy with the results. The scars are still there but my boobs look a million times better than they did. No more plastic surgery for me now, all I will do is noninvasive procedures and Botox; I still have Botox twice a year and I have recently been trialling the Brazilian butt lift it is supposed to have the same results as 2,000 squats! Michael: I love Danielle however much she weighs and however big her boobs are, but I’m pleased she’s happy with the results.

What do you have in the pipeline, Danielle?

I’d love to design a range of children’s clothes in the future. Also, as fitness is such a passion of mine and I have my own range of protein snacks, I’d like to inspire other mums to get fit, too. Maybe I will do a fitness DVD one day, who knows! Danielle Lloyd shows her legs in LBD on date with boyfriend … Ltf

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