Socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson tells this week's HELLO! how almost a year of sobriety has helped her to "declutter" her life.Posing for an exclusive photo shoot at a private villa in Cannes, the 41-year-old former model says the benefits of not having had an alcoholic drink since last November have been huge. "My skin is so much better and it’s definitely helped me save money," Tara tells the magazine.CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE
But she admits there were deeper reasons, too and reveals how she was suffering from severe anxiety attacks, which made her realise she needed to "put my brain in order and get my life back on track".It was to that end that she checked herself into rehab late last year."To be able to go somewhere and feel completely safe, knowing there's no one hiding up a tree trying to get a photograph of you, or waiting to tail you in a car, I felt really at peace," says Tara."When I came out, I felt healthier, happier, I'd gained weight – it was during that time in rehab that I thought, 'I really want to change my life, I don't want to live in the chaos any more'.
"The most important thing is my recovery," says Tara, who fought a well-publicised battle with cocaine addiction, for which she underwent treatment at the famous Meadows centre in Arizona in 1999."And for that I knew I needed to stay focussed on being fit, giving back and getting some exciting new business ideas off the ground."These include branching out into the world of fashion design and launching a new handbag line aimed at fashion savvy women who "would love to own an Hermes Birkin, but can't afford one".Asked if she sees herself as the newVictoria Beckham
, Tara says. "VB has done brilliantly, and continues to do brilliantly, and I think her clothes and bags are rather supersonic, but we are aiming at different markets."For the full interview and exclusive photo shoot with Tara, read this weeksHELLO!.