Dawn French opens up about weight loss, and racism towards ex-husband Lenny Henry and daughter Billie

August 13, 2015
First published on:August 13, 2015
by HitBerry

Comedian Dawn French, who was married to longtime boyfriend Lenny Henry for twenty-five years, divorced in 2010. Since then, she has gone through quite a few challenges in her life.

The problems started with Dawn French drastically losing her weight. There were assumption that she’d had a gastric band fitted, or was suffering from stress after her split with his husband Lenny Henry.

But the comedian has now opened up about the genuine reason behind her decision to drop her weight. She apparently needed to have a hysterectomy following a cancer scare. She was given the option to have an insidious operation, but opted for a keyhole surgery instead and was told she would need to lose weight to help ensure it was a success.

She told the audience: ‘When I was due to have my hysterectomy the doc told me that if I could lose some weight before the operation, they would be able to do it via keyhole, and I would recover in three weeks or so.’

‘Otherwise it would be big open surgery, and three months to recover. So, I set about dropping a few stone. No magic wand, just tiny, joyless low-cal eating and lots more walking for weeks and weeks. It was grim. I lost seven-and-a-half stone. I could have the keyhole surgery. Great. That’s all it was, practical.’

On June 2011, Dawn was reported to have lost over three stone when she appeared at the Glamour Awards in London’s Berkeley Square, where she explained the reason behind her weight loss. But speculations were going on that French had been stressed about her divorce with Lenny Henry.

In an interview, French described how her marriage to Lenny Henry prompted a racist response from some members of the public, and that her daughter, Billie, was still subjected to racist taunts.

Speaking about her marriage to Henry, which ended in 2010, French said: “I think the reason why a lot of people invested in it was because it was a black man and a white woman and lots of racism comes hurling at us and we tried not to be too bothered about that.

“But he lived and probably still lives, with a certain amount of that at all times, and I’ve got a mixed-race daughter, who also lives with a certain amount of it at all times, and it’s shocking.”

“Obviously you don’t get divorced without a certain amount of sadness,” she said. “We knew the marriage was untenable.

Ms French, who is now wife to charity boss Mark Bignell, has admitted to being a yo-yo dieter in the past. In recent months she seems to have put weight back on and she said her fans like her more when she is bigger.

French, age 58, is an American comedian and an actress. Her ethnicity is American. She is well known for her lead role in the television movie French and Saunders with her comedy partner Jennifer Saunders. She is 5 ft height tall and is very active in the social media. She connects to her fans through her Twitter and Instagram. 


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