Billie Piper was just 15 years old when she found overnight fame with her number one single Because We Want To – but her success came at a price. In a new interview with Fault magazine, Billie reflected on her past and revealed how the pressures of fame turned her and her then-boyfriend Ritchie Neville into virtual recluses.
The mum-of-two said she found the hardest part of becoming a teen pop star was losing the ability to "just walk around normally".
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Billie Piper has spoken about the pressures of finding fame at a young age
"When you're a pop star you're always on duty," Billie, 32, said. "You're suddenly a role model even though you don't start out with ambitions of being a role model and also you're a fallible mess yourself.
"…Mostly you couldn't walk anywhere without people wanting pictures and autographs and I found that so suffocating. We all did at that time.
"I went out with Rich from Five and we used to just sit in our flat for days, if we weren't working, and never leave. It made you really reclusive. That's the stuff I hated."
Billie Piper and Ritchie Neville pictured together in October 2000
After her split from Ritchie, Billie famously married Chris Evans – he was 34 and she was 18 when they secretly tied the knot in Las Vegas after a whirlwind relationship. They separated in 2004 and were officially divorced in June 2007, when she was 25. In December of that same year, Billie married Lewis actor Laurence Fox.
The couple are now proud parents to two little boys: six-year-old Winston, and three-year-old Eugene. Billie admitted she would be reluctant for her children to find fame at an early age. "I don't know that I'd let my children get involved in that world until they're 16 or 17," she said. "But who knows?!
"If they were really dedicated and really gung-ho and passionate about it then you just support that. But if you've got a kid who just wants to be famous I would just totally rule that out."