Barbara Windsor has spoken candidly about her decision not to have children of her own. The 79-year-old EastEnders icon is the subject of a new BBC documentary drama titled Babs, which examines her rise to fame, and also the darker side of her life – including her turbulent relationship with her father, and her rocky relationships with men. Ahead of the screening on Sunday, Barbara has opened up about some of her toughest moments, including her five abortions. "I know it was wrong, against what you should do," she admitted to the Sun. "My mother never told me about the facts of life. It was ridiculous. I'd make a mistake then go straight on and do it again. I was so naïve."
Barbara Windsor pictured with husband Ronnie Knight (left) and Reggie Kray in 1969
Barbara first fell pregnant when she was 20 during her relationship with little-known singer Cliff Lawrence. She later married gangster Ronnie Knight after being introduced to him by the Kray brothers. "I'm the generation where you kept your feelings to yourself," Barbara explained. "So I always made out everything was fine. But I went through a lot of mental stress. I thought a lot about God and what he would think of me."
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Despite her experiences, the star said she doesn't regret not having children. "I consider myself to be a warm and lovely person, but I never had maternal feelings," she admitted. "Neither did my mother, so that message was constantly fed to me as a child."
The TV star with third husband Scott Mitchell
Barbara has been happily married to third husband Scott Mitchell since 2000. "Meeting Scott is the best thing that ever happened to me," the star said. "He picked up instantly on all the emotional baggage about my dad, and said, 'You don't have to keep pleasing men to make up for what happened.' I've never had therapy, but Scott and I talk a lot and I've worked a lot out about myself – particularly that I am a people-pleaser who can never say no to anyone."