Trisha Goddard has opened up on finding out her late husband was battling HIV/Aids only after his death and she’s said she ‘never hated’ him for keeping it a secret from her.
The TV chat show host, 63, recently revealed that she feared she had passed on HIV to her daughter Billie following her birth in 1989, after finding out about husband Robert Nestdale’s condition.
Trisha was led to believe by Robert that he had cancer and was told at his funeral by those close to him that he’d actually been diagnosed with HIV/Aids.
Speaking about her late husband on Loose Women on Thursday, Trisha insisted that she ‘never, ever hated’ Robert for choosing to keep his HIV diagnosis secret from her – even after the worry she had to endure over being tested for the virus herself.
‘I have to say, after all of that, I never ever hated Robert or anything like that, I never… because he had to live that lie,’ she told the panel live on air.
In fact, her experience led to her reaching out to the LGBTQ+ community, with Trisha revealing: ‘I actually ended up working – and have for a long time – with LGBTQ+ groups.’
Trisha recalled the fear she felt on learning of Robert’s diagnosis and realising that she could have passed on the virus to her newborn daughter, if she too was HIV positive.
She shares daughter Billie, now 31, with her second husband Mark Grieves, who she began dating in 1987 following the end of her marriage to Robert.
With the help of former Australian politician, Attorney-General John Dowd, Trisha arranged for herself to get tested and recalled: ‘Those days they were dressed in the full PPE outfit, the whole thing. I remember them saying they had to take blood and I remember Billie crying and having to breastfeed her, but at the same time thinking I was killing her.’
She explained that she went through the whole process alone and decided against telling her parents who were back in England – she was living in Sydney at the time.
‘I didn’t tell my parents back in England, I don’t know how I got through it, but I somehow got through it, I had to just not think otherwise I would have gone mad,’ Trisha, who is set to appear on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, said.
‘When I got the results, I found out we didn’t have HIV, I phoned John Dowd and I remember him breaking down on the phone and that’s when it hit me.’
Trisha then warned those who may be involved in affairs to consider the health of their partners when it comes to passing on sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
She said: ‘I hear so many stories of women/men picking up STIs from what they thought was a mutual relationship – you are literally putting their lives and their health at risks.
‘We all concentrate on the sexiness [of affairs], but you are putting your partner’s lives at risk and that’s something I feel strongly about.’
The star is also mum to daughter Madison, 28, from her relationship with Grieve, who she married in 1993 before splitting three years later.
Trisha then wed Peter Gianfrancesco in 1998, with the pair confirming their split in 2017.
Loose Women airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV.