Over the two and a half years they’ve been together, Jacqueline Jossa and Dan Osborne have been through a lot. As well as welcoming their daughter Ella into the world last February and getting engaged four months later, the pair were at the centre of a media storm last March when two tapes of Dan being verbally abusive to his former girlfriend, Megan Tomlin, emerged. Shortly after the shocking recordings were made public which lead to Dan leaving The Only Way Is Essex Jacqueline told OK! that while she was disgustedby his words, she had decided to stand by her man. It’s something we have worked through as a couple, she explained.
Despite putting the ordeal firmly behind them, the scandal was once again brought to the forefront a few weeks ago after Jacqueline, 23, was questioned about the tapes during an appearance on Loose Women. It was also recently claimed that the EastEnders actress and her fianc© were on the brink of a break-up following a series of heated rows rumours fuelled by the couple’s decision to postpone their September nuptials.
When OK! sits down with the pair, it is easy to see that all the scrutiny of their relationship has taken its toll especially on Jacqueline. While insisting their relationship is as strong as ever, the young mother emotionally reveals: Before I met Dan no one knew anything about me now it seems like everyone has an opinion on my life. It makes me so upset that people read negative stories about us and think they are true. I go to the shops and I get paranoid that people are staring at me. It feels like people feel sorry for me, but they have no reason to if it wasn’t for all the fake stories about us, I’d be very happy.
Meanwhile, Dan insists that there’s no truth to the break-up chatter. People think we must be constantly stressed out and arguing because of everything we have been through, but that’s not the case. We’re definitely not about to split up I can’t wait to marry Jacqueline, the 24 year old tells OK!.
As we discuss their relationship, the couple’s adorable one-year-old daughter plays sweetly with her toys. Dan proudly tells us how close Ella is to her two-year-old half-brother Teddy, his son from his relationship with Megan. They adore each other, he says, adding: My family are everything to me and I will do anything to provide for them and keep them safe.
Here, as Jacqueline prepares to head back to EastEnders after a year’s maternity leave, the pair open up about why they’ve decided to put their wedding on hold, reveal the truth about claims they are about to split and tell us all about Ella’s birthday celebrations last month
So why have you two decided to postpone your wedding?
Jacqueline: To be honest, we just ran out of time to plan everything. I thought we had ages to get stuff sorted, then all of a sudden it was March and we didn’t have anything booked. We’ve not found a venue that’s perfect for us yet so we didn’t see any point in booking something just for the sake of getting married this year. We want to wait and find somewhere that we love.
Dan: Jacqueline wants a huge, fairytale wedding day and we were finding it hard to find a venue that lived up to her ideas and also had availability this summer. We only got engaged last year, so it is not a big deal if we move the date back a few months. If anything, it gives us more time to enjoy the planning process.
Was pushing the wedding back a hard decision to make?
Jacqueline: It was a bit of a shame as we were looking forward to it, but it is really not a huge deal. Just because we have postponed the wedding, it does not mean our relationship is falling apart we are still getting married!
There’s been lots of speculation recently that your relationship is on the rocks…
Dan: It’s all bulls**t. It really feels like people are out to get us. I read the other day that I have got a problem with Jacqueline going back to work, which is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I do not know where people get these ideas about me from.
So you do not have a problem with Jacqueline going back to work, Dan?
Of course I don’t! And I think there are also people who assume that I do not work and I rely on Jacqueline for money, but that’s rubbish. I’m a traditional guy, I want to provide for my family. I wouldn’t rely on Jacqueline for that.
Jacqueline: I’d always planned to go back to EastEnders after my maternity leave finished my decision has absolutely nothing to do with Daniel. Besides, do people really think if Daniel told me not to go back, I’d listen? No chance!
And, Dan, what projects are you working on at the moment?
I’ve been developing a fitness website and I’m about to start my own business, although I can’t tell you what it is yet. I also do a few personal appearances and I was in pantomime over Christmas. Just because I’m not on TV, it does not mean I’m not making my own money.
Is it true that you have been arguing over the amount of time that Dan spends in the gym?
Jacqueline: Dan does spend an insane amount of hours a day in the gym but it does not cause arguments. The only problem I have with it is that it shows me up, because it highlights how little exercise I do [laughs]!
Dan: It feels like week after week people are looking for something negative to say about me. All I do with my day is exercise, look after my kids and work to provide for my family. I do not know how anyone can say that makes me a bad person.
Jacqueline: If anything, I’m happy that Daniel’s hobby is something so healthy. I’d much rather he was in the gym than down the pub getting drunk!
You’ve not been pictured together very much recently
Dan: Just because we have not posted many pictures of each other on social media, that does not mean our relationship is in trouble. Our social media accounts aren’t a reflection of what our day-to-day life is like. Why would I post a picture of Jacqueline when we are sitting at home watching TV together?
Jacqueline: I went on holiday with my mum and Ella recently and people said it was because I was so down about my relationship with Daniel that I had to get away. I’m not that pathetic! I went away because I wanted a bit of time in the sun before I went back to work. It would have been nice for Daniel to come, but it was such a last-minute decision that it wasn’t possible for him to be there as he had Teddy to look after. I only booked the trip three days before going.
People have also been speculating about why you have not tweeted each other much recently
Dan: Why would I post on social media about someone who I’m sitting right next to? The couples who are all over each other on social media are the ones who feel they have something to prove, which we don’t.
Do you wish people would leave your relationship alone?
Jacqueline: I used to feel like that but now I’m just bored of it all. It really gets me down when people say our relationship is in trouble, but I’m so sick of caring about it. The attention on our relationship has been relentless we are both bored of it.
Dan: I have learnt not to care about what people think. When I see Jacqueline reading stories about us, I tell her to stop. I do not see the point in getting upset by stuff we know is not true. Jacqueline: I do not find it as easy as Daniel to brush it under the carpet. It feels like people are trying to break us up, but surely they should want us to work, for Ella’s sake.
Does all the stress ever cause arguments between you?
Most of our arguments are because I have got upset about rumours about our relationship. I get annoyed with Daniel because he finds it so easy to laugh the stories off, but I really take them to heart. I wish I could be like him, though, it is definitely a nice way of being. Dan: I probably should be more sensitive towards Jacqueline’s emotions but as far as I’m concerned, as long as we know we are okay, that’s all that matters. She shouldn’t let other people’s opinions upset her so much.
Why does it upset you, Jacqueline?
I hate that people view me as some poor, vulnerable girl who is so put upon by Daniel. I do not need a man to make me happy. I’m with Dan because I love him, not because I feel trapped with him or need someone! I do not feel trapped just because we have a daughter together. I would be absolutely fine on my own.
Do you think interest in you has intensified since you met Dan?
Yes. I was in EastEnders for four years before we met and no one really wrote about me. It feels like I have gone from being an actress to a celebrity.
How do you feel about your Loose Women appearance now?
I’ve always spoken very openly about what happened between Daniel and Megan but I didn’t realise I was going to be asked about it, so it took me by surprise a little. It was only the second time I have ever done live TV so I clammed up.
What did you think when you saw the episode, Dan?
I was out when it was broadcast but my friend called me to tell me what was going on. I felt bad that she had to relive it all on her own had I been there, perhaps I could have chipped in and helped her out a bit.
What would you have said if you were asked those questions on the show?
I lost my temper, which is something I regret, but I’m not a violent person. I can’t excuse what I said but people do not know the full story they do not know what I was being put through at that time. Those leaked tapes changed my whole life.
Do you think that the tapes ruined your career?
They changed things, in big way I was given the boot from TOWIE. I know what I said on those tapes was wrong but I have really worked on bettering myself since then and I know I’m a good person. It is not fair that people won’t let me move on from something that happened so long ago. This will be the last time I ever speak about it because I want to put it in the past.
Do you think the recordings will always haunt you?
Definitely, but it happened a long time ago so people bringing it up now is embarrassing. Megan and I actually get on really well now. I see her when I pick up Teddy and everything’s cool. Jacqueline: If Megan can forgive Daniel for it, then I do not know why other people can’t. He can’t be punished forever for one mistake.
So you’d say you have a good relationship with Megan now, Dan?
Things are much better between us. No matter what has happened, Megan is still the mother of my son and I respect that. She’s going to be in my life for a long time so we might as well get on.
How has everything you have gone through affected you and Jacqueline as a couple?
Dan: The fact we are still together and standing strong says a lot, I think. Plenty of people would have broken up over the things we have been through but the fact we have not must mean we really love each other.
Jacqueline: We have a great relationship. If anything, all the rumours bring us closer together.
It was claimed recently that your relationship is not what it used to be’
Jacqueline: What a load of rubbish! Daniel and I are always doing nice things together in a few weekstime we are going on a date night to see The Lion King in the West End.
Jacqueline, you mentioned on Loose Women that Megan can come to your wedding if Teddy wants her to. Will you be inviting her?
No, that would be really weird for her and us. I’m sure she wouldn’t want to be there it would be quite strange to watch your ex get married.
Do you have another wedding date set yet?
Dan: It will definitely be next summer at the latest. At the moment we are trying to decide whether to get married in the UK or abroad.
Jacqueline: I want our wedding to be a real event for people, so having it abroad would be like a holiday for everyone. I do love the idea of getting married here, though, especially as I want a big ceremony. My sister’s wedding was in Greece last year and it was lovely, but the ceremony was over really quickly and I do not want that.
Jacqueline, last time we spoke you said you had your wedding dress sorted is that still going to be the one?
I’m having it made but it is not finished, so at least now I have more time to make changes so that it can be perfect.
What did your friends and family think when you told them you were postponing the wedding?
Jacqueline: It wasn’t a big surprise because they knew we hadn’t really planned much. A few of my friends said they didn’t know why we were in a rush to plan it anyway, they told us to enjoy the preparation part of it because it is supposed to be fun, not stressful.
Dan: Our priority at the minute is getting the venue sorted, then we will have a year or so to plan it and enjoy putting it all together.
Have you thought anymore about what you want your wedding day to be like?
Jacqueline: We knew from the start exactly the sort of day we want. We want a nice formal meal followed by a big party with fun food stands. Our colour scheme is going to be pastel colours so I have already started looking at bridesmaid dresses, although at the moment I can’t find any I like. I think I’m going to be worse with the bridesmaid dresses than with my own I’m so fussy!
Do you feel nervous about the big day yet?
Jacqueline: Once we have booked the date I think the excitement and nerves will kick in a bit more. At the moment there is not much to be nervous about, but when I have people calling me up asking what type of flowers I want, I might start to panic a bit.
Do you have a scrapbook of ideas?
Jacqueline: I have a book full of things that I have ripped out of magazines and my phone is full of screen shots of nice bits I have seen.
Dan: I think that’s more of a girl thing, is not it?
I’m sure I will start having more ideas when I know what the venue is going to look like, but at the moment I find it hard to visualise what I want.
Did you and Ella have a nice time in Cape Verde, Jacqueline?
Ella absolutely loved it. We took her abroad for my sister’s wedding but she was too young to really enjoy it. I was a bit nervous about the six-hour flight but other than a grizzly 45 minutes, she was fine. I was really impressed!
Did you miss them while they were abroad, Dan?
Of course, but I spent most of my time with Teddy so it was nice to have some boy time.
What stage is Ella at now?
Jacqueline: She’s changed so much in the past month or so. I feel like she’s a totally different person, she’s much more independent. She’s also walking now which means that I can’t take my eyes off her. Ella seems much more aware of what’s going on around her over the past few weeks, too, and I feel like she understands things we say now.
Dan: She’s definitely listening a bit more. If we ask her if she wants milk, she says: Yeahand she says little words like Mammaand Dadda. When she sees Teddy she makes a very highpitched squealing noise, she gets so excited. When we show her pictures of Teddy she tries to tickle them because that’s the game they play together.
How was Ella’s first birthday on February 15? Did you throw a party?
Jacqueline: Oh my God, it was the best day ever! We hired a hall and got a bouncy castle and loads of food. We had a pony outside to welcome the kids and a threetier cake. I went a bit OTT, but everyone loved it.
Did it make you emotional thinking she’s turned one already?
Jacqueline: I got really emotional I even had a little cry. I just do not know where the last year has gone, it is been the quickest 12 months of my life.
Did she get spoilt with gifts?
Jacqueline: She got lots of presents but the problem with one year olds is that they do not have much interest in toys. Ella’s favourite things to play with are things she’s not supposed to have, like our shoes!
Dan: It’s like Toys R Us in our living room, but all she wants to play with are my trainers!
Did you do anything nice for Mother’s Day?
Jacqueline: We went over to my sister’s house. Dan got a card for me from Ella and some flowers and chocolates. He also got me a canvas picture of Ella, which I love.
How’s Teddy getting on?
Dan: He’s so great. I love watching him grow up. Teddy’s speech has really been coming on in the last few months and he adores being a big brother to Ella.
Is it tiring having two toddlers to look after?
Jacqueline: It’s not as bad as you would think. If anything, it is easier now that they are both walking and eating normal food. Teddy likes to look after Ella so if I pop out of the room for a moment he’ll keep an eye on her for me, which is great.
Is Ella still a very messy eater?
Jacqueline: The messiest! My mum says she’s never seen a baby as messy as her. Ella is actually very good at using her baby cutlery but she still manages to get food another it could be just one, but I’m back full-time and can’t wait to get stuck in.
Are you worried about leaving Ella at home?
I feel a lot better about it than I did when I briefly went back last year. Obviously I still feel a bit guilty and I will miss her when I’m at work, but she’s much more independent now so I do not worry about leaving her. To be honest, Ella can be a bit clingy with me so it might do her some good to have a bit of space.
How will you feel about seeing Jacqueline doing kissing scenes?
I’ve seen plenty of those before with actors like Jamie Lomas [who played Jake Stone] and Ben Hardy [who played Peter Beale], so I’m used to it now! I will always find it a bit weird but at the end of the day it is her job. Jacqueline: The good thing is Daniel knows all the guys and gets on with them so he knows they are not a threat.
Who are you most looking forward to seeing again, Jacqueline?
I was looking forward to seeing Himesh [Patel, who plays Tamwar Masood] but he’s decided to leave so we won’t be working together now, which is a shame. I’m really excited to work with Lacey [Turner, who plays Stacey Branning] again. She was my idol before I started working on EastEnders I have always looked up to her. It’ll be nice seeing Lorna [Fitzgerald, who plays Abi Branning] and Shona [McGarty, who plays Whitney Dean], too and also Scott Maslen [who plays Jack Branning]. I’m excited that he’s decided to come back so hopefully we will get to film some good scenes together.
Is any part of you nervous about going back to work?
It does feel a bit like I’m starting out all over again, especially as there are lots of new members of the cast now. I’m a bit worried that I’m going to get on set and forget how to act. I have got a meeting soon to talk about my storylines and I can’t wait to find out what they have planned for Lauren. I want something huge to happen!
Do you see yourself staying EastEnders for the long term?
We’ll have to wait and see what happens but if they are happy to keep me, then I’m more than happy to stay on. Going back to the EastEnders set is like going home, I absolutely love it there. As far as I’m concerned, I have the best job ever.
Do you get lots of people calling you Lauren Branning in the street?
It’s slowed down a bit since I have been on maternity leave but I’m sure it’ll start again now I’m back. When I was doing the alcoholic storyline I would get people in pubs trying to stop me ordering a drink! Sometimes when we walk down the street people shout: Dan! Lauren!and I answer to it!
Was it nice catching up with James Lock at the Eddie The Eagle premiere recently, Dan?
It was good, but we see each other all the time anyway. We go to the gym together and I have been down to his new restaurant [Lockie’s Kitchen in Romford, Essex] a few times. People were wondering why Jacqueline wasn’t with me at the premiere but she was ill with tonsillitis, there was nothing more to it than that.
Are you jealous of James’s bromance with Pete Wicks?
I posted a picture of me and James on Twitter the other day with the hashtag: F**kPetebut it was just a bit of a laugh. I’m not jealous, it is all just banter!
Would you ever like to go back to reality TV? I had a great time on the show so I’d never rule out a return to TOWIE or any other reality show. The problem is, reality TV is really for people who are single and I do not fit into that lifestyle anymore.
Did you enjoy doing Zumba for Sport Relief?
To be honest, I had no idea what Zumba was until Jacqueline told me, so I signed up without knowing what I was getting involved in I just thought it was a workout class! I did it on a stage at The Brewery shopping centre in Romford and there were loads of people there. It was good fun, I was surprised by how hard it was. Zumba is a fullon workout!
Have you been working out, Jacqueline?
I’ve been to the gym a few times but I have still not got into the swing of it properly. There’s a gym at the EastEnders studio so as soon as I’m back at work I won’t have any excuse not to go and work on my wedding body!Exclusive: Dan Osborne admits Jacqueline Jossa hasn’t met son … Ltf
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