Lilly McFadden, the daughter of Westlife star Brian McFadden and former Atomic Kittens member Kerry Katona, has spoken about how her parents’ marriages and divorces have affected her view on matrimony.
In her first-ever interview, the 20-year-old said that while she would like to have a wedding celebration, she is not interested in signing “a piece of paper that’s legally binding” in order to prove she loves someone.
McFadden, 43, was married to Katona from 2002 to 2006. He later married Vogue Williams in 2012, but the pair divorced in 2017.
He is currently engaged to PE teacher Danielle Parkinson, with whom he shares daughter Ruby.
Meanwhile, Katona, 42, went on to marry Mark Croft from 2007 to 2011, and then George Kay from 2014 to 2017. She shares two children with McFadden, including Lilly and Molly, as well as daughter, Heidi, with Croft, and daughter Dylan-Jorge with Kay.
Speaking to The Daily Mail, Lilly said she learnt “not to get married” from watching her parents’ multiple nuptials.
“Personally, I’m not a ‘marriage girl’,” she explained. “I never have been and it’s no reflection on my mum, it’s a bit of an inside joke.
“I want a wedding because I want to wear a big dress and all the gifts, but I studied law at college, and it may sound really cynical, but it’s just a legal contract.
“It’s always seemed odd to me that to prove your love for someone you should sign a piece of paper that’s legally binding. For me, I just need to trust that they will stay.”
She continued: “We never stop growing and unfortunately some people grow apart and that’s the reality of life so why would I want to pay all the divorce lawyers and go through that?
“I just want my future relationships to be healthy and if we grow and change… why make it harder? I want a wedding just not the marriage.”
McFadden has previously reflected on his relationship with Lilly and Molly when they were children and said he regrets missing out on their childhood as he was at the height of his Westlife career at the time.
He told Closer magazine last year: “I was only a kid myself when I had Molly and Lilly… We were literally working 365 days a year, and there was no FaceTime so I couldn’t speak to the kids, I could only see them when I came home.”
After he and Katona broke up, they went through a period of hostility towards one another, which made co-parenting their children difficult. However, McFadden said it is much easier now they have made peace with their differences.
“It’s very easy to co-parent now our children aren’t kids any more. It was obviously a lot more difficult when they were growing up,” he said.
“Kerry and I didn’t have a very good relationship from the day we broke up until now, really, but it’s been a long time… There’s no fighting any more.”
In October, Katona also opened up about co-parenting with McFadden when their daughters were young and said he was “not a bad man, he’s just not the greatest of dads”.
However, she acknowledged that her ex-husband is a “great dad to Ruby”.
“I think it hurts Molly and Lilly that he’s a better dad this time around but they’ve accepted it, they love him and he loves them,” Katona added.
Elsewhere in her interview, Lilly reflected on having famous parents and being labelled a “repo baby”. She said she has “thick skin” and understands that there will always be people with “something to say”.
“It’s never really bothered me because people will say to me, ‘Your mum is a s***’ or something like that and I’m like, ‘Yeah, fair play… We’ll go cry about it in the Lamborghini!’,” she said.
“Growing up with a big family was so beautiful, we moved a lot and had a very different life and people tried to hate us but when you have a family like ours it’s just such a strong and loving system.”