Watch: Michelle Heaton makes emotional apology to Lorraine Kelly
The former Liberty X singer – who last month celebrated 100 days of sobriety after revealing that she drank every day for three years – appeared on the presenter's ITV morning show Lorraine to discuss her recent rehab experience.
Heaton, 42, told Kelly: "I wanted to apologise to you before we begin.
"Because there were times where I drank before I sat on this sofa. And you trusted me and I did campaigns for you and I love you so much because you’ve always been there to support me and I just wanted to say sorry."
Kelly replied: "Oh Michelle, don’t be daft, you don’t have to apologise to me or to anybody else.
“The easy path to have taken for you was to keep drinking, the hard thing was to say ‘No, I’m not going to do this any more. I’ve got an amazing husband, family and friends.’
“And that takes real guts. You’re one of the strongest women that I know."
Heaton – who found fame in 2001 in Liberty X, the runners-up of ITV singing talent show Popstars – has made regular appearances on Lorraine as part of various cancer-awareness campaigns.
The singer is mother to nine-year-old daughter Faith and seven-year-old son AJ, who she shares with her Irish businessman husband of 11 years Hugh Hanley.
Heaton revealed she has discussed her alcohol addiction openly with her children, saying: "I think that's really important, that if my kids ask me a direct question I have to give them an answer, because the nature of being in this industry is they're able to find out anything they want.
"I could not be prouder of my Faith, she's just such a wonderful young woman. She's took a lot on board, she had to grow up really quickly because of Mummy. I put her through so much pain, and all the family.
"But I couldn't be prouder and I'm pretty sure I got it just in time before it was too late. Because these things can damage families – it's not just the addict, it's the family around them.
"Just don't leave it too late, ask for help, do I what I did – admit you are powerless. That's the hardest step, but the first for survival."
Hanley said in an interview filmed for the show: "The last three or four years have been extremely tough knowing that Michelle was in there but the addictions were ripping her apart.
"Sometimes the way she would be towards me and the kids wasn’t nice but I knew that wasn’t Michelle and it wasn’t who she really is and I kind of held on to that.
"Whenever I brought it up and addressed it, it was just an argument or, 'You don’t understand I’m not an alcoholic.'"
The star – who appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2009 – left rehab in May.
As well as suffering dramatic weight-loss as a result of her alcohol abuse, she must take medication to account for the lack of function in her pancreas and has been left with terrible bowel issues.
Heaton underwent a double mastectomy and hysterectomy after she was diagnosed in 2012 with the BRCA2 gene, giving her an 80% chance of developing breast cancer.
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