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16th Mar 2023

Christine McGuinness bravely opens up about her autism diagnosis

Ellen Fitzpatrick

“I’m shedding my old identity and finding out who I am.”

Model Christine McGuinness has opened up about her marriage ending in a new and emotional documentary, revealing it ended due to her autism diagnosis.

Christine spoke about her diagnosis candidly in her new documentary, Unmasking My Autism, which aired on BBC on Wednesday.

The mum of three discovered she was on the spectrum last year following her three children also being diagnosed.

The diagnosis affected many aspects of Christine’s life, including her marriage and split from Paddy McGuinness.

Christine said in the documentary: “When I was diagnosed, I set out on a journey to find out who I was. I have separated from my husband in the process, I’m shedding my old identity and finding out who I am.”

Christine and Paddy first met when she was 19 years old and the now 34 year old spent almost half her life with the TV presenter.

Since discovering that she has autism, her outlook on life changed and made her come to the realisation that she only stayed in her marriage as she never liked change.

The TV star also admitted during the documentary that throughout her life she had worn a mask to hide her feelings and following the diagnosis, she was forced to address all and realised she had been putting on an act.

“My relationships before I met Patrick were not very good. I’d say they were pretty bad experiences,” she said. “Before Patrick, I had been sexually abused, I was raped. I used to pray every night that I wouldn’t wake up in the morning because it was so awful.

“When I met my husband that was a time when I was very safe and I wonder if that’s why I stayed. I know that I’ve stayed in a place where I was probably unhappy because it was safe and I don’t like change.”

While the couple have called it quits on their marriage, Paddy is extremely supportive of his ex-wife’s journey and her pursuit to find happiness.

Posting about the documentary, Paddy wrote on Instagram: “Very proud of Christine for making this new documentary highlighting Autism, particularly in women.

“It’ll be a massive help to our daughters in years to come along with our little lad. #unmaskingmyautism #awareness #acceptence.”