Jade Goody’s no more

Posted: March 22, 2009 in social issues
Tags: , , , , , , ,

There’s a saying in Kannada “Aane idru saavira, satru saavira” (An elephant is worth of thousand rupees not only when it is alive, but also when it is dead). Probably, Jade Goody is one such person who drew the attention of the world when alive and after her death. Goody’s day-to-day battle had dominated the headlines of the media, electronic and print, for last seven months.

Jade Goody

Jade Goody

Goody is the first reality television star to die as she lived, riding high atop the nation’s most pungent newspaper headlines, dominating television bulletins and news programmes. She never showed any remorse in living her life in public. The star had shocked the world by saying that she may allow her last moments to be captured on camera.
Was she the exploiter of the media or the exploited? The truth is that she was both. She sold huge numbers of papers and magazines, caused endless amounts of internet traffic and both her own and media coffers have swelled as a result.

India, especially Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty should be indebted to Goody throughout her life. It is the racial remarks of Goody which brought name and fame to Shilpa Shetty, who otherwise would have lost in the oblivion.
If the world recognises Shilpa Shetty, it is only because of Jade Goody and her remarks in reality show ‘Big Brother’.
Jade recorded the details of her final days and her day-to-day struggle with cervical cancer in a personal diary titled “Forever In My Heart”. The 27-year-old star, left Royal Marsden Hospital and spent her last days at home. She secured a deal with HarperCollins publishers for her book.

The former ‘Big Brother’ star considered the diary to be her final lover letter to her sons Bobby and Freddy.
It is an emotional book which tells a fascinating story of our time, a story of a woman who rose to fame as a controversial reality TV star and won admiration in the eyes of many for the fortitude with which she faced terminal cancer.

From being brought up in a small house in southeast London to becoming one of the most hated-turned-loved person in Britain, Jade always lived her life for the cameras.

Born as Jade Cerisa Lorraine Goody on June 5, 1981, her mother Jackiey Budden raised her as a single parent after her father left them when she was just two-years-old.

Goody had openly spoken about her troubled childhood and her struggle to get an education saying that her poverty- ridden early days prompted her to secure a better future to her two sons — Bobby and Freddy from a relationship with TV presenter Jeff Brazier.

Jeff Brazier with sons Bobby and Freddy

Jeff Brazier with sons Bobby and Freddy

She worked as a dental nurse before gaining popularity by appearing on the Channel 4 reality show ‘Big Brother’ in 2002. Though she was ridiculed by the media for being ignorant, the star maintained a steady popularity and finished fourth in the show.

Jade Goody in Big Brother show

Jade Goody in Big Brother show

Goody maintained her fame by starring in many other reality shows, featuring in gossip columns and women magazines and launching new products while other ‘Big Brother’ contestants were soon forgotten by the public. In the process, she went on to win millions. She also published her autobiography in 2006 titled ‘Jade: My Autobiography’ and launched her own fragrance ‘Shh…Jade Goody’.

Goody with her autobiogarphy

Goody with her autobiogarphy

She re-entered the celebrity edition of ‘Big Brother’ with her mother Jackiey and boyfriend Jack Tweed in 2007 where Indian actress Shilpa Shetty also participated. While on the show, Goody gained notoriety for allegedly bullying and racially abusing Shilpa, with the episode snowballing into an international controversy. Goody was soon evicted from the show and producers Channel 4 issued a statement denying racial abuse charges. She became a villain in the eyes of Indian public with the media splashing the pictures of a crying Shilpa. The issue became so huge that British broadcasting regulator Ofcom received a record of more than 44,500 complaints from audiences. The allegations affected Goody’s meteoric rise as a popular star in Britain. Her perfume was withdrawn from the shelves soon after the racism controversy and the publication of her autobiography was also stopped.
In her effort to improve her image, Goody decided to appear on the Indian version of Big Brother, ‘Bigg Boss’, which was anchored by Shilpa. Goody was still in India when she received news that she has been diagnosed with cervical cancer. The star left the show to return to UK to begin treatment.

Goody's mom Jackiey Budden

Goody's mom Jackiey Budden

Goody became a national hero after she decided to go public with her struggle with the deadly disease on Living TV.
She continued to give interviews about her day-to-day battle with cancer. The star was initially slammed for selling her story to the media but she hit back saying she wanted to provide a better future for her two children, which further propelled her into the public eye.

She married boyfriend Tweed on February 22 in a lavish ceremony. The star reportedly received one million for selling the exclusive rights to ‘Hello!’ magazine to film her marriage.

Goody's husband Jack Tweed

Goody's husband Jack Tweed

After being told that her cancer had become terminal in February, the star shocked the world by saying that she will allow her last moments to be captured on camera. “I’ve lived my whole adult life talking about my life. The only difference is that I’m talking about my death now. It’s OK. I’ve lived in front of cameras and maybe I’ll die in front of them. And I know some people don’t like what I’m doing but at this point I really don’t care what other people think. Now, it’s about what I want,” she said.

After being in a coma-like state for 48 hours, Goody, died in her sleep in the early hours on March 22 with her mother Jackiey and husband Jack Tweed by her side at her home in Upshire, Essex, away from public glare and cameras that dominated her short life. She faced her death in the way she faced her whole life, with a lot of courage.

It is ‘ironic’ that the young mother of two boys died on Mother’s Day. The heartbreaking task of informing Jade Goody’s two young sons about her death fell on father Jeff Brazier, who told the children that their mother was in heaven. Bobby and Freddy had prepared a card for Goody on Mother’s Day but it remained unopened as the star died in the early hours.

flowers kept outside Goody's house

flowers kept outside Goody's house

The star had already planned her funeral and had told her family members to make it a ‘celebration’ of her life. Goody had expressed her desire to have a traditional burial at the local church of St John the Baptist in Buckhurst close to her home.

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