From Kate Ferdinand to Geri Horner, the celebs who completely transformed their image after finding love
THEY say reputation is everything, and when you’re a well-known celeb every little detail can make the difference.
Take Meghan Markle, whose job was edited on Wikipedia just days before her relationship to Prince Harry was announced, going from “actress, fashion model and spokesmodel” to “actress, activist, humanitarian”.
There’s certainly no denying Meghan has worked hard to move on from her Deal or No Deal days since marrying royalty, but she’s not the only one who has tried to quietly step away from their early fame.
Here’s a closer look at some of the other celebs who’ve overhauled their image even more radically to fit their new life and relationship, and create a very different name for themselves…
Kate Ferdinand: From Towie wild child to Mrs Rio
Then: When Kate Ferdinand, now 29, starred on Towie from 2015 to 2017, she wasn’t afraid to say what she thought.
She reduced Chloe Lewis to tears by branding her “snakey”, and once bravely, albeit jokingly, referred to Megan McKenna as a “dog”.
She was known for her bouncy blow drys, plunging necklines and a very public on-off relationship with co-star Dan Edgar, and could usually be found shopping on Brentwood High Street, or partying in Sugar Hut.
Now: It was revealed Kate was dating Rio Ferdinand after meeting in Dubai, in 2016, and it wasn’t long before Kate made the shock decision to quit Towie.
She swiftly began to erase her former reality TV star persona, saying:“I’m taking a step back from the public eye, I want to keep my life private as I lived my previous relationship [with Dan Edgar] on Towie, my priority right now is Rio and the family."
Kate became step-mum to Rio's three kids Lorenz, 12, Tate, 10 and Tia, eight, when they tied the knot in Turkey last September.
They recently announced they are also expecting their first child.
Now, the couple enjoy working out together, Kate favours a less high-maintenance, more natural look.
She very rarely posts snaps with her old cast mates, instead hanging out with the likes of Fearne Cotton and Giovanna Fletcher.
Geri Horner: From pinching Prince Charles’ bum to 'lady of the manor'
Then: Before rising to fame as Ginger Spice, Geri Halliwell worked as a nightclub dancer, claimed to love ‘boobs’ and quickly became known for her outrageous behaviour as well as her garishly dyed hair and platform heels.
The stunning singer also posed for a series of racy glamour shots, appearing as a Page 3 model in 1990.
Among her particularly memorable moments, Geri pinched Prince Charles’ bum in 1997 at a Royal Gala, and her boob nearly popped out of her eye-poppingly tight ball gown on stage at the Brits.
Now: After having daughter Bluebell Madonna in 2006, Geri began to settle down.
And when she married Formula One boss Christian Horner in 2015 – wearing a sophisticated, demure wedding gown – her lifestyle really changed.
Now known as Geri Horner, the 47-year-old mum-of-two became ‘lady of the manor’, settling down in a 15th century country pile in Hertfordshire.
She regularly posts images of her new country lifestyle, dying her once iconic red locks a more subtle tone, going shooting and cooking on her Aga stove.
When the Spice Girls went on tour again last year Geri reportedly insisted the skimpy costumes she once wore were replaced with more ‘age appropriate’ outfits.
Last year she was left horrified when bandmate Mel B claimed they’d had a night of passion during their heyday, with Mel adding: “She's going to hate me for this because she's all posh in her country house with her husband.”
Donna Air: FHM pin-up to royal circles
Then: Donna Air, now 40, was one of the original Nineties ‘ladettes’.
Born in Newcastle, the actress first hit our screens aged 10, starring in children’s TV show Byker Grove, before landing high profile presenting roles on shows such as The Big Breakfast and TFI Friday.
She frequently posed for sexy lads mag photo shoots in her lingerie, and was a regular on the party scene with the Primrose Hill set.
The star went on to have a daughter with multi-millionaire conservationist Damian Aspinall, who famously claimed he’d be perfectly happy to allow his baby to be looked after by gorillas.
Now: Mum-of-one Donna was already well-connected and had become friends with Princess Eugenie and Beatrice.
However, she catapulted into even higher social circles when she met Kate Middleton’s brother James at a private members’ club in 2013.
She attended Pippa Middleton’s 2017 wedding, and had been tipped to marry James, but the pair split later that same year.
She recently confused TV viewers with her accent when she appeared on This Morning, having apparently lost her Geordie twang… and replaced it with a ‘fake posh’ accent.
Jeremy Meeks: 'Hot felon' to heiress arm candy
Then: Tattooed Jeremy Meeks, from California, became an internet sensation overnight when his police mugshot went viral, and he earned the reputation as “the hot felon”.
Up until that point, the 36-year-old had a track record for being in trouble with the law. He’d had an extremely difficult childhood, growing up as a “heroin baby”, surrounded by drug addiction, and his father murdered a family friend.
In 2002, Jeremy was sentenced to nine years in prison having originally been jailed for two years for grand theft and assault. In 2014, he was jailed again for two years for gun possession and resisting arrest.
His life then took an unexpected turn when his mug shot was shared online, and his model-like good looks attracted plenty of attention.
Now: Incredibly, once he left jail, Jeremy started a new career, as a catwalk model, with Vogue describing him as a “buff bad boy”.
His chiseled cheekbones and piercing blue eyes didn’t just land him work either – he soon split with wife of ten years Melissa and began dating Topshop heiress Chloe Green.
Jeremy swapped prison for a swanky new lifestyle, holidaying onboard Chloe’s family yacht in Monaco, and attending black tie events on her arm.
The couple eventually split in 2019 after two years, but share a young son, two-year-old Jayden. Jeremy is now launching his own clothing brand.
Nicole Richie: Sexy socialite to a very different ‘Simple Life’
Then: Former ‘It girl’ Nicole Richie, now 38, rose to fame in 2003 with Paris Hilton on their reality TV show, The Simple Life, a show which documented them as two privileged rich girls adapting to other peoples’ normal lives.
It was one of the first reality shows, and known for her wild ways and outrageous outfits, party girl Nicole spiralled into cocaine and heroin addiction.
By the age of 26 had been arrested four times, and gone to rehab multiple times.
However, Nicole’s life changed when she met Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden in 2006, and the couple welcomed daughter Harlow in 2008 and son Sparrow the following year.
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Now: The couple wed in 2010, and are still happily married – and family life is what Nicole credits with helping her turn her life around, previously telling Harper’s Bazaar: “I owe my baby my life.”
Now, Nicole lives in Los Angeles, volunteers at her children’s school, owns chickens, owns her own fashion company, House of Harlow, and has a much more relaxed, grown-up style compared to her hedonistic heyday.
While it can’t be easy living in the spotlight, one thing’s for sure – these celebs have all done a very good job of successfully changing their reputations to suit their new lifestyles.
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