Michael Owen has made a candid confession in regard to his mental health. In a re-surfaced extra from his 2020 autobiography, Reboot, the former England footballer revealed he sought "professional help" after he grew "jealous" of his wife Louise's close bond with their eldest daughter, Love Island star Gemma Owen.
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Speaking of his "inner demons", Michael admitted he accused his childhood sweetheart of spending too much time with their 19-year-old daughter whilst "ignoring" their other children.
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The former Liverpool player, 42, wrote: "To my surprise, I found myself standing at a figurative cliff edge in 2014. A lifetime of that certain type of mentality, of behaviour, had led me to a point where I had to seek professional help...
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"For years, because of my own inner demons, I was intentionally really hard on Louise about subjects that I knew would push her buttons most — not least her close relationship with our daughter Gemma."
He added: "Let me be very clear and say that none of this was in any way a reflection on how I felt about either Gemma or Louise. I love them both with all of me.
Michael Owen with his eldest daughter Gemma
"I'd take everything out on Louise, though. I'd accuse her of spending all her time with her eldest and ignoring the other kids. It wasn’t even true."
Michael also shares son James, 16, and daughters Emily, 14, and Jessica, 12, with Louise. He continued: "I stared into an abyss called divorce, panicking... the whole process was a revelation."
Gemma is one of this year's hopeful singletons to have entered the Love Island villa – and Michael has confessed he is supportive of her decision to join the show. "I have no doubts that she will make us all proud," she recently told ITV News.
"It's probably a father's worst nightmare, but whatever she wants to do. You've got to be supportive."
Reboot: My Life, My Time, £6.99, Amazon
He added: "It's been different without her in the house. I've got other kids and my wife, and it's been quite tough because she's had to switch her phone off and we've had no contact for a couple of weeks so that’s been the hard bit.
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"I've heard a lot about it. I think old, grumpy men like me will always have an opinion on it because I don't watch it and you just hear the snippets, but she assures me that it's not as bad as I think. So, we'll give it a watch and I hope she enjoys herself."
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