Katie Price has left people in the disabled community fuming with her comments about being confined to a wheelchair.
Some are angry that the former glamour model described being in a wheelchair as “humiliating” and because she questioned why her boyfriend, former Love Island star Carl Woods, is staying with her after her injuries.
The mum-of-five, 42, is using a wheelchair and electric scooter to get around after breaking both of her feet while on holiday in Turkey.
Katie said she was mucking about on a night out when she jumped over a small wall, only to discover there was a 25ft drop on the other side.
She had surgery on her broken feet as doctors inserted metal plates and screws to rebuild them.
She says she’s been warned it could be as long as two years before she’s able to properly walk again.
But some of her comments about her situation in a recent interview have left people upset.
She told The Sun : “Everything has hit me so hard, not only am I in a wheelchair but I have to learn to walk again and I’m disabled. It’s humiliating.
“I feel so embarrassed being pushed around. People treat me differently and I don’t know why my boyfriend stays with me.”
Katie, who says she hates feeling “helpless”, went on to say the image of Carl pushing her round in a wheelchair is “demoralising”.
She added: “And I feel sorry for Carl because he’s such a 6ft 2in, handsome, gorgeous man, and I bet people look at him and think, ‘Look at you having to push her around in a wheelchair’.
“I look at the reflection in the shop windows, it’s demoralising, the heartbreak.”
Katie also described her feet as “completely mangled” and her scars as “disgusting”.
She said her feet were left looking like “something from a horror film”.
People quickly took to Twitter to vent their frustration at Katie’s comments, with some suggesting she should know better given that her son Harvey, 18, has a number of disabilities.
One posted: “As mother to a disabled child, Katie Price should be utterly ashamed of herself. People wonder why disabled people struggle to get on and feel confident in themselves. Her comments explain precisely why – disability is a social concept and she of all people should know better.”
Another wrote: “‘People treat me differently’, welcome to our world. Also, it’s not humiliating to be disabled. It might be hard, just deal with it, that’s what we have to do when we don’t have full support from the government and can’t have access to everything an able bodied person can.”
A third penned: “The comments that Katie Price is making surrounding her recent accident and subsequent wheelchair use are not only extremely hurtful but reinforce society’s belief that being disabled is a bad, ugly and shameful thing.”
“Please, someone apologise on behalf of @KatiePrice her comments are taking us back YEARS,’ another tweeted.
One person posted: “Being Disabled is NOT humiliating. Being Disabled does not make us less. Being disabled is not a bad thing. Being disabled is difficult because people don’t accept us the way we are. Sad to see this attitude from Katie Price given that she has a disabled son.”
One wrote: “‘Not only am I in a wheelchair but I have to learn to walk again and I’m disabled. It’s humiliating’ @KatiePrice This is such dangerous language. I’m also disabled and learning how to walk again. It’s empowering. It’s humbling. It’s beautiful. Equal not less!”
Coming to her defence, another replied: “But it’s also the reality of how many people feel in the initial stages of coping with an acquired disability. Being disabled isnt humiliating. But being newly disabled can feel humiliating, and help and support is needed rather than invalidating those very real emotions.”
Others had Katie’s back too.
One wrote: “The disability community seems quite angry with this. But as a disabled person quite new to using a wheelchair, I really relate to what @KatiePrice is saying. I’d love it if the community accepted those of us who find our disabilities difficult. These feelings are valid”
Some people were particularly upset about Katie’s comments surrounding her relationship with boyfriend Carl.
One person took to Twitter to fume: “whilst I understand becoming disabled so suddenly can be traumatic, as a disabled person myself her comments are insulting and demeaning she should take a serious look at herself.
“To label scars as ugly, being in a chair as humiliating and question why her partner is with someone in a wheelchair is ludicrous.
“Disabled people are the same as everyone else we all beautiful in our own unique way and deserve love. Thinks Katie needs to realise she is more fortunate than others”
Another wrote: “I myself am sitting here currently in my electric wheelchair with a broken ankle in two places as well as my usual disability this makes things ultimately harder for myself and my partner with two young sons under three but not once have I felt humiliated to be disabled, or wondered why my partner would want to stay with me.”
A spokesperson for disability equality charity Scope said getting used to being in a wheelchair can be difficult, and that they hope Katie has the help and support she needs.
Alison Kerry, Head of Communications at Scope, said: ” Adapting to being in a wheelchair and needing help can be a big adjustment and feel overwhelming. But no one should be made to feel embarrassment, humiliation and shame. We hope that Katie is getting the support she needs at this time.
“We advise anyone facing this situation to join groups such as Scope’s thriving online community where they will meet disabled people who can discuss, advise and share their experiences, in a safe environment. Most importantly, it’s a space where they will not be judged and will have the support to get through this very difficult period.
“The disabled community is vibrant, creative, empathetic, wise and resilient and, has so much to offer society.”
Katie’s representative said the reality star was devastated that her comments had been taken this way.
She said: “Katie herself is deeply sorry that her words in a recent interview have been taken out of her own personal account.
“Katie was was not relating to anyone else but herself, her own feelings, expressing her personal feelings on her horrific accident not in or about or aimed at those in wheelchairs or disabled, this was an account of her own feelings.
“Katie asks that those she has unwittingly offended grant her forgiveness as she never intended her words to be taken or dreamed to be offensive or detrimental in any way and is sorry for any upset caused as they were never intended to be taken in this way.”