LONDON – Bald from chemotherapy and so weak she had trouble standing, British reality TV star Jade Goody married her 21-year-old sweetheart on Sunday – and her every tear was captured on camera.
The wedding extravaganza for the brash 27-year-old, now dying from cervical cancer, has captivated Britain and helped turn the loud-mouthed Goody from the star everyone loved to hate to the one they can’t praise enough.
Goody and Jack Tweed received a standing ovation from 200 guests once they were married at the Down Hall Country House Hotel in eastern England, Goody’s spokesman Max Clifford said.
The bride had painkillers stashed inside her designer dress. When she felt unable to stand about half an hour into the 45-minute service, she sat down, her husband-to-be knelt beside her, and her two young sons scrambled onto her lap, the spokesman said.
The run-up to the wedding received blanket coverage in the British media, and pictures of the pair kissing were on most papers’ front page Sunday. The overwhelmingly positive coverage marked a turnaround for Goody, who went from being the poster child for British boorishness to an exemplar of bravery following her cancer diagnosis.
Doctors say Goody has only weeks to live. She decided to film her struggle with cancer and earn as much as possible in the time she has left in order to fund her sons’ education.
Goody was plucked from obscurity to play in “Big Brother,” a British reality show, in 2002. Her eye-popping gaffes – she infamously complained of being “an escape goat” and questioned whether English was spoken in the U.S. – made her so mocked that her old south London school defended itself by saying she wasn’t a typical pupil.
Although some critics questioned Goody’s determination to spend her dying days in the spotlight, her frankness largely won the media over.
“People will say I’m doing this for money,” she was quoted as saying by the Sun tabloid. “And they’re right. I am, but not to buy flash cars or big houses. It’s for my sons’ future.”