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Christine McGuinness has revealed that she stayed in her ‘unhappy’ marriage with ex Paddy because it felt ‘safe’ at the time and she ‘doesn’t like change’. 

The mother-of-three, 34, told how abusive previous partners – and even an alleged rape – as well as her autism left her craving security which she found with Paddy.

Speaking on her new documentary on the BBC – Unmasking My Autism – which comes out next week she said she felt safe when she met Paddy, now 49, when she was 19. 

But after her autism diagnosis two years ago she realised that she had masked her feelings. 

The model was married to Paddy for 11 years and they split last July, confirming their separation in a statement. They share twins Penelope, and Leo, eight, and Felicity, six, – all of whom have autism too. 

Candid: Christine McGuinness has revealed that she stayed in her 'unhappy' marriage with ex Paddy because it felt 'safe' at the time and she 'doesn't like change'

Candid: Christine McGuinness has revealed that she stayed in her ‘unhappy’ marriage with ex Paddy because it felt ‘safe’ at the time and she ‘doesn’t like change’

Husband: The mother-of-three, 34, told how abusive previous partners - and even an alleged rape - as well as her autism left her craving security which she found with Paddy

Husband: The mother-of-three, 34, told how abusive previous partners – and even an alleged rape – as well as her autism left her craving security which she found with Paddy

She explained: ‘My relationships before I met Patrick were not very good. I’d say they were pretty bad experiences.

‘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.’

It comes after earlier this week Christine revealed the air date for her BBC documentary charting her diagnosis with autism.

The beauty took to Instagram to share that the ‘incredibly personal’ short film will air on Wednesday, March 15.

Sharing a promotional snap ahead of the documentary, Christine wrote: ‘Finally I can give you a date!

‘My new documentary… Christine McGuinness: unmasking my autism, 15th March on @bbc @bbciplayer.

Reflecting: Speaking on her new documentary on the BBC - Unmasking My Autism - which comes out next week she said she felt safe when she met Paddy, now 49, when she was 19

Reflecting: Speaking on her new documentary on the BBC – Unmasking My Autism – which comes out next week she said she felt safe when she met Paddy, now 49, when she was 19 

Family: The model was married to Paddy for 11 years and they split last July, confirming their separation in a statement. They share twins Penelope, and Leo, eight, and Felicity, six, - all of whom have autism too

Family: The model was married to Paddy for 11 years and they split last July, confirming their separation in a statement. They share twins Penelope, and Leo, eight, and Felicity, six, – all of whom have autism too 

Finished: Christine and Paddy confirmed their separation last July, just hours after sharing pictures from a last minute family holiday to Centre Parcs

Finished: Christine and Paddy confirmed their separation last July, just hours after sharing pictures from a last minute family holiday to Centre Parcs

‘I’m excited, nervous and proud to present this incredible short film that I truly hope and believe will help thousands of autistics feel understood, recognised and valued.’

It was first reported back in January that Christine would appear in another documentary for the BBC, this time focused on her own autism journey.

She previously appeared in a programme alongside estranged husband Paddy, focused on their three children, who have been diagnosed with autism.  

Christine and Paddy were nominated for a National Television Award with their first film Our Family And Autism.

‘Christine was shocked by how autism is seen as something mostly affecting men and what felt like a gender bias in diagnosis,’ a source told The Sun

‘The second film follows her on a journey in search of answers for the thousands of other women like herself in the UK, who are spending years undiagnosed or masking their symptoms to the detriment of their mental health.

‘It’s taken on additional weight as her first solo project. Away from Paddy, she’s been part of ensemble casts like The Real Housewives Of Cheshire and ITV’s The Games but this is Christine, standing alone and owning her space.’

Paddy and Christine took to Instagram to confirm their separation last year, revealing they would continue living together for the sake of their three autistic children. 

Christine and Paddy share three kids, all of whom have been diagnosed with the developmental disorder – and they insisted their upbringing remains a top priority.

Sharing a joint statement, they wrote: ‘We hadn’t planned on sharing this publicly until we were ready but after the lack of privacy surrounding our personal life, we feel left with no other option but to clarify.

‘A while ago we took the difficult decision to separate but our main focus as always is to continue loving and supporting our children.

‘This was not an easy decision to make but we’re moving forward as the best parents we can be for our three beautiful children. We’ll always be a loving family, we still have a great relationship and still live happily in our family home together.

‘We hope this now draws a line under anymore unwanted and unnecessary intrusion into our private life.

‘Although we work in the public eye we ask kindly if you could respect our wishes for privacy on this matter. We’ll be making no further comment.’ 

A source told MailOnline at the time: ‘Paddy and Christine have given everything to their marriage over the years.

‘Sadly, they have made the tough decision to part ways for the sake of their young family, who they will continue to co-parent together.

‘It’s been no secret within their inner circle that it’s been a difficult few years for them as a couple but they still very much support each other and will continue to do so throughout their separation.’

Paddy shared a photo of himself with Christine just hours before the couple of 15 years announced their split.

The pair smiled together from Centre Parcs Nottingham, where they holidayed as a family with their children. 

Top Gear presenter Paddy captioned the picture: ‘Yes! We finally got away for our family holiday.’

He explained: ‘After discovering, three days before we were due to fly, our youngest daughter’s passport had expired, our holiday to Spain had to be cancelled.

Kind: Christine and Paddy were nominated for a National Television Award with their first film Our Family And Autism

Kind: Christine and Paddy were nominated for a National Television Award with their first film Our Family And Autism

Important: She previously appeared in a programme alongside estranged husband Paddy, focused on their three children, who have been diagnosed with autism

Important: She previously appeared in a programme alongside estranged husband Paddy, focused on their three children, who have been diagnosed with autism

‘We had been telling the kids all about it, especially the airport part, so to suddenly change plans wasn’t easy. Mums and dads will autistic children will know exactly what I mean.’

Christine previously appeared on ITV show Lorraine, which was presented by Carol Vorderman, where she spoke about her marriage to Paddy.

She said at the time: ‘Marriages go through up and downs anyway, all marriages, especially long ones like ours – 15 years together, it’s not always going to be plane sailing but we’re trying to deal with things as privately as possible and we both want to be there to support the children and give them an amazing summer.

‘We’re going away on a family holiday next week and we’re really excited about it and they are always going to be our focus and they’re the most important things to us.’

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