Kerry Katona admits she pursued marriages in desperate search for the perfect family

Watch: Kerry Katona blames marriage woes on craving for ideal family

Kerry Katona has said she got married three times as she was desperate to create the perfect family after a tough childhood.

The former Atomic Kitten star is now engaged for a fourth time to Ryan Mahoney, but says it is a completely different sort of relationship to her previous turbulent marriages.

Read more: Kerry Katona celebrates buying a house 13 years after losing everything

Speaking to Ulrika Jonsson for The Sun, she said: “There was always a little girl inside me wanting someone to look after me, but I realise now that I’m the only one who can look after me.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: Kerry Katona attends the Balsan and Chapel menswear preview at Neighborhood At The Avenue on November 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by carla speight/Getty Images)
Kerry Katona says she wanted to create the perfect family. (Carla Speight/Getty Images)

Katona, 40, added: “I didn’t stop to realise how much my kids loved me. It wasn’t so much that they needed a dad, it was me craving that nuclear family.

“But marriages aren’t families. And the failures made me want to try again.”

The mum-of-five has daughters Molly and Lilly from her first marriage to Brian McFadden, Heidi and Max from her second to Mark Croft, and daughter Dylan-Jorge from her third marriage to George Kay.

LONDON - OCTOBER 31:  Brian McFadden, from the Irish boy band
Brian McFadden was Kerry Katona's first husband. (Gareth Davies/Getty Images)

She told Jonsson how she grew up in and out of foster care, started taking drugs at 14, and worked as a lap dancer.

Her marriage to McFadden fell apart after he cheated on her many times and she didn't mention second husband Croft much in the interview, with Jonsson explaining she didn't have much good to say about him.

Read more: Kerry Katona is looking at surrogacy for baby number six

Katona was abused by third husband Kay, who once beat her so badly that she and their daughter had to lock themselves in a cupboard to get away from him.

He died in 2019 of an overdose.

The star revealed that she was freezing her eggs, saying she thought it would be "selfish" of her to have another child but would consider it for fiance Mahoney.

MITCHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 27:  Kerry Katona (R) and George Kay attend the annual Elbrook Gala Dinner in aid of The British Asian Trust and their newly launched
Kerry's third husband George Kay died of an overdose in 2019. (Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Katona, who has been bankrupt in the past, has now earned her first £1m from her OnlyFans page and argued that having an account on the intimate photos site was nothing to be ashamed of.

She claimed there was no difference between paparazzi pictures of her sunbathing naked, or actor couples shooting sex scenes for films, and what she was doing, adding that she was "taking control and putting the money in my own pocket".

Watch: Kerry Katona clashes with Real Housewives star over padded bikinis for children