teens

For everyone calling Katie Price a bad mother, we need to talk about Dwight Yorke.

Glamour model and disability rights campaigner, Katie Price, opened up about the tough decision to place her eldest son, Harvey in residential care last week.

Speaking on British chat show This Morning, the mother of five said the decision to place 16-year-old Harvey into care at his boarding school was difficult but necessary.

Harvey lives with autism, partial blindness and Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects mental and physical development.

“On Instagram, I only show him when he’s good. But he’s got a side to him. My house is smashed to bits. This year he has broken eight iPads and four TVs. Someone might bang the door and he’ll chuck something,” she told This Morning.

“Some people think I’m out of order [sending him into care] but people don’t understand the situation.”

Price, who has cared for her son alone without respite, recently told the BBC she has to bath him, dress him and ensure he takes his medications.

A number of people criticised Price’s decision on social media, with some trolls accusing her of wanting to “replace” Harvey following her recent announcement that she would like to adopt an orphan from Nigeria.

But what these trolls fail to remember is that Price takes care of her son on her own.

Harvey’s father is former Trinidad and Tobago, Manchester United and Sydney FC football player Dwight Yorke. He has nothing to do with his son.

Price and Yorke dated briefly in 2001. When 14 weeks pregnant, Price discovered Yorke had cheated on her while on camera for a lingerie photoshoot.

Price made her pregnancy public following the betrayal and Yorke initially denied being the father until a DNA test proved otherwise.

Yorke did turn up to the hospital following Harvey’s birth, but soon decided he did not want to be part of his son’s life.

Dwight Yorke and Katie Price 2001
Dwight Yorke and Katie Price in May 2001. Image: Getty.
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Price has previously claimed Yorke has only seen his son once since, when he was 10 years old.

In her 2016 book Reborn, Price said Yorke was unable to accept the limitations of Harvey's disabilities.

Harvey's Prader-Willi Syndrome means he has a chronic feeling of hunger, making him prone to over-eating and obesity.

"I’d explained Harvey’s condition to Dwight many times, but he refused to understand it and kept going on about him being fat," she wrote.

"It’s sad that he is unable to accept Harvey for who he is and seems unable or unwilling to work within his limitations.

"For me, it’s impossible to understand why a little boy’s dad wouldn’t make contact after being sent snaps of his son opening his birthday presents, learning swing ball, or giggling his head off on a quad bike. They are such precious moments."

In late 2018 Price made a plea to Yorke on Instagram, posting a photo of him with Harvey as a baby.

"For any of my followers bringing a child up with complex needs, I admire you," she wrote. "It's not easy but it is totally worth it."

"To who has never been there for him just remember it's never too late. That door is always open..."

During her This Morning interview, Price said Harvey would be in care on weeknights and that she would still be able to go have dinner with him and tuck him into bed. He would return home for weekends and holidays.

“I love him so much; he’s my life. It has taken me ages to be convinced this is the best place for him,” she said. “I would never want him to think I am palming him off – but I have no choice.”

Many of those with lived experience of caring for children with complex needs have praised the 40-year-old for being so open about her struggles.

Richard Kramer, CEO of organisation Sense, tweeted that many families caring for children with complex disabilities are at breaking point due to lack of support.

Price is currently campaigning for 'Harvey's Law' - to have online abuse, particularly towards people with disabilities, classed as a hate crime in the UK after Harvey was targeted by trolls.

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