Model Rachel Hunter is relieved she's quit drinking and avoided the spectre of alcoholism which haunts her family.

The New Zealand beauty turned to drink in the aftermath of her split from hubby Rod Stewart in 1999, but quit booze when she was dating recovering alcoholic Robbie Williams last year (02).

She says, "It was probably a reaction to the relationship breaking up. But I started to find that alcohol can be really distracting. The moment I stopped drinking I dropped 15 to 20 pounds. Not only is it the alcohol that makes you put on weight, but it's all the hangover food.

"Alcoholism does run in our family - although I was never at the stage where I had a problem. I just found out that sometimes I'd get a bit down a few days after drinking a lot and I didn't like the feeling.

"I couldn't see the point of it any more. Now I don't miss it at all. It doesn't bother me."

11/08/2003 21:06