Chitty Chitty Child Star Blames Early Fame For Ruining Her Life
Former CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG child star HEATHER RIPLEY blames her early brush with fame for ruining her life and leaving her in therapy.
The 46-year-old - who was just seven when she played JEMIMA opposite DICK VAN DYKE in the late 1960s - is now a mother of two living on benefits who campaigns for environmental issues.
And she insists she hated filming the family musical because she missed her family, and developed a serious drinking problem in her teens because she was bullied at school.
She tells American tabloid the Globe, "People are shocked when I tell them how miserable the whole experience was... I saw my father only three times during filming and I missed him terribly."
Ripley explains the location filming in Bavaria and France meant her parents were separated for weeks at a time - and this led to them eventually splitting up after her father had an affair.
Ripley was fined last month (JAN06) after being convicted of driving without a licence.