Katie Price: 'I wish everyone could treat me like Harvey does, he doesn't judge'

‘I feel like I’m always trying to explain myself, but with Harvey, I don’t have to explain anything,’ says Katie Price, because despite still arguably being the most written about celebrity in the UK, her eldest son is well protected from the headlines. 

It’s February 18 when I speak to Katie, and Storm Eunice is in full swing. While I’m basically boarded into my flat as though a twister may tear my roof off, a visibly thrilled Katie is already planning to head to the sea and watch the chaos unfold. 

But as we speak another storm is brewing. The previous night, her fiancé Carl Woods was charged with abusive behaviour, which both he and Katie have stressed has nothing to do with her. 

Regardless, she’s in good spirits when we chat over Zoom because it’s clear, and always has been, that Katie loves nothing more than talking about her five children, especially Harvey. 

On Monday, the follow-up to 2021’s National Television Award-nominated Harvey and Me will air on BBC One, following the 19-year-old as he flies the nest and settles into life at National Star College, Cheltenham. 

What Harvey Did Next is another unfiltered look at the teen, who was born with Prader-Willi syndrome and is partially blind, moving into college, making new friends and adapting to life without his mother to care for him 24/7.

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‘I’m used to 19 years of having him around me, living, breathing, the noise — everything. Then he’s just gone,’ she says.

‘How do I fill that void? I’m so used to having so much responsibility.’ 

However, while filming, Katie was arrested and charged for driving under the influence and without a licence. She was subsequently ordered by the court to spend a month in The Priory, with the events touched on in What Harvey Did Next, even if she didn’t want the incident to be featured at all. 

‘I didn’t think it was necessary,’ she says. And rightly so, the film is about Harvey, after all. Take ‘Katie Price’ out of the picture, and Harvey and Me is still a fascinating journey between mum and her disabled son as he leaves home. 

During the course of her colourful career where she began to make waves as top tabloid fodder Jordan, Katie’s endured the extreme highs and lows of being on trial by both the media and the public. Even while making a film about her son, she can’t avoid being asked about her own personal dilemmas.

But with Harvey, there’s never any judgement. Even if her other four children, Junior, 16, Princess, 14, Jett, eight, and Bunny, seven, may hear gossip on the school playground or see of themselves on social media, Harvey’s been kept well clear of the circus.

‘It’s unconditional love, he doesn’t judge me,’ she smiles. ‘He doesn’t know those things and that’s how it should be. 

It’s unconditional love, he doesn’t judge me

‘When people know me, they realise that a lot of the things that happen out there aren’t through me. 

‘With Harvey, he doesn’t understand the headline so when I see him it’s refreshing because I know it’s just me and Harv, mother and son, and I’m not being questioned about anything.’

‘I just wish everyone else would treat me the same,’ she sighs. ‘Sometimes it’s so exhausting. I feel like saying, “Look, my life isn’t your visual drama series.” I do feel I’m always having to explain myself, where with Harv I don’t have to explain anything. It’s nice.’

Katie had Harvey when she was 22, her first child, and immediately became a single mother when his biological dad, footballer Dwight Yorke, chose to step away from his son’s life. 

Since then, Katie’s been married three more times to Peter Andre (2005 to 2009), Alex Reid (2010 to 2012) and Kieran Hayler (2013 to 2021), and is looking ahead to marriage number four with Carl. 

Through it all, Katie calls Harvey ‘the most consistent person in my life, obviously’.

‘It’s just been me me and Harv at the end of the day. I’ve got no dad trying to take him away from me which I’ve always had to deal with. So Harvey’s special in that way for me because it is just me and him. He’s always happy to see me. And obviously vice versa. So it’s unconditional.’

The strength of their unbreakable bond is at the heart of What Harvey Did Next. Whatever critics think of Katie, when it comes to Harvey she’s extraordinary and always has been, arguably once of the first ‘celebrity mums’ to use their platform to raise awareness for their child’s disability. 

‘There’s lots of other celebrities have hidden the fact that their kids have got a disability,’ she says. ‘But I think nowadays they’re wanting to do stuff for charity and raise awareness for disability, but I don’t know why anyone hid away from it anyway. 

‘I’m proud of Harvey no matter what.’

Hence why Katie felt it was important to document Harvey’s journey, and document it tastefully, without a tabloid touch. 

‘That’s why I did it was the BBC because they are good at documentaries. They’re good and factual and serious content, I think they’ve done it really well.

‘If Harvey doesn’t want to film he doesn’t film, we don’t force it. Sometimes they wanted to film and he’d say, “No, not today.” No one forces Harvey to do anything.’ 

What Harvey Did Next documents Harvey in his earliest days at college. He’s polite, charming and easily making new friends, and appears to be finding his feet. 

Actually, according to Katie, she knows he’s not quite settled unless he’s ‘started to smash things up’. However, since filming, they’ve got there. 

‘He’s gone through to computers I’ve bought now, two TVs, he’s pulled the light off in the room there. At the weekend, he pulled the fridge out of his room. So then I said I’m happy he’s like this, because now he’s relaxed.’ 

Harvey will only stay at National Star college until he’s 25, and after that, Katie’s unsure.

‘I reckon after college, he’ll come back to me. At college he’ll learn independent skills that I haven’t got time to offer him. At the end, we’ll see what happens. Obviously, I would have home with me, maybe get a little job.’

‘I still don’t know what Harvey’s future is, we’ve got a long way to go, but he surprises me all the time. I was told he would never walk or talk, and he does it. So I don’t know what’s gonna happen.’

What Harvey Did Next airs Monday at 9pm on BBC One and will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer. 

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