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Kate Beckinsale likens anorexics to ‘crack whores’

As a former anorexic, Kate Beckinsale knows how easy it can be to succumb to the eating disorder – and how hard it is to fight.

But the British actress was accused of insensitivity when she likened anorexic girls to “crack whores” and said family problems were often to blame, rather than pictures of skinny celebrities.

Miss Beckinsale, whose weight once plummeted to five stones, said: “I believe anorexia, alcoholism and drug abuse in teens are more about what is happening in the home than a problem with images in the media.

“It is the nice girl’s way of becoming a crack whore.”

Miss Beckinsale, 33, was brought up by her mother Judy Loe after her actor father Richard Beckinsale died of a heart attack when she was five.

When she was nine, her mother married director Roy Battersby – a relationship the actress said contributed to her problems in her teens, which culminated in her developing anorexia at 15.

She has previously said: “I was convinced I was going to be relegated, that he would sell the house where I had always lived and it would be awful.”

She added: “I got to the stage where I think I was about to die. I had no energy and my main goal was to be able to stand up. Finally I realised I had to choose between being a person or a professional anorexic.

“You can’t commit to anything else when your mind is exhausted and homed in on one thing.”

There was widespread condemnation of the Underworld Evolution star’s remarks.

Ros Ponomarenko-Jones, whose daughter Sophie Mazurek starved herself to four stones before dying last year of heart failure at 19, said she felt “completely insulted”.

“She (Beckinsale) has been totally flippant and does not really know what she is talking about,” she said. “She is not giving anorexia the status it deserves as a mental illness.”

Mrs Ponomarenko-Jones, 47, of Powys, Wales, added: “I think she needs to go an eating disorder unit and speak to some of the girls there, where she would find out it is not always about what is happening in the home.

“They look up to celebrities and if they are thin, the girls take that on board and think if they look skinnier, they will have friends and live better lives. She has been completely irresponsible.”

Eating disorder charity Beat warned that anorexia resulted from more deep-rooted problems than the family circumstances and images surrounding teenage girls.

A spokesman said: “Anorexia stems from low self-esteem and an inability to cope safely with worries and problems. It is not a diet gone wrong.”

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