Seven years after becoming Britain’s best known reality TV star who lived out her most intimate moments in front of the camera, Jade Goody died quietly in her sleep at home early Sunday, her publicist Max Clifford said. She was 27.
Goody, who was ill with cervical cancer, died at her home in Upshire, a village in southest England, at 3.14 a.m. GMT with her mother Jackiey Budden, husband Jack Tweed and family friend Kevin Adams by her side.
Goody’s mother said: “My beautiful daughter is at peace.”
Clifford said it was “ironic” that Goody had died on Mother’s Day. The television star had struck media deals worth nearly a million pounds to secure the future of her two young sons – Bobby, five and Freddie, four.
“I think she’s going to be remembered as a young girl who has, and who will, save an awful lot of lives,” he said in a reference to the fact that cervical cancer testing has increased in Britain following her public battle with the disease.
“She was a very, very brave girl. And she faced her death in the way she faced her whole life – full on, with a lot of courage.”
It was also ironic that Goody, who had spent most of her celebrity life in front of the camera, died quietly – away from the glare of lights and camera.
Goody, a working class woman from south London who worked as a dental nurse, shot to fame in 2002 when she appeared on the reality TV show “Big Brother” and made an immediate impression with her feistiness.
But she became controversial in the celebrity version of the same show in 2007, when Channel 4 network expelled her after thousands of viewers complained she had racially bullied Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty, who was on the same show.
Goody, who had called the Bollywood star “Shilpa Poppadum” angered fans in India, who burnt Goody’s effigies during a visit by then Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown.
But before the incident could turn into a diplomatic row, Goody apologised, made up with Shetty, undertook a tour of India and bounced back into the public eye.
It was in India, while Goody was making an appearance on the Indian version of Big Brother, that British doctors told her she was suffering from cervical cancer.
She flew back home for treatment but the cancer spread to her liver, bowels and groin. Goody then allowed a television channel to film her being treated in hospital in a reality show called Jade. In tandem, British tabloids reported her every move and statement on a daily basis.
She married her long-time boyfriend Jack Tweed last month and was christened with her sons this month. Jade told IANS exclusively last month that she felt “honoured by India’s love” and relayed “a big thank you” to the thousands who had sent her letters, emails and cards.