Kate's in pieces inside

Kate's in pieces inside; Exclusive
Sara Nuwar and Ross Hall
16 September 2007
The News of the World

Friends say that her calm cool looks mask the anguish of a warm, caring mother

FRIENDS of Kate McCann came out fighting last night to defend and praise her as a "fabulous mum".

Childhood pals Linda McQueen and Nicky Gill insist there is "not a shadow of doubt" in their minds that loving mother Kate is innocent of harming her missing daughter Madeleine.

And another friend admitted traumatised Kate, 39, is only just holding herself together at her Leicestershire home as the cruel smears against her continue to spread.

She confessed: "Kate may not have broken down yet in public but in private she's in bits.

"This is tearing her apart. She's in pieces. She is trying to remain strong but it's getting harder. She thinks if she does start crying in front of people, she'll never be able to stop."

Kate is devastated at allegations made by Portuguese police, claiming her diary depicts a woman struggling to cope with the demands of three young children.


Close friend Linda McQueen, 45, a teacher with a child of her own, stormed: "I have never ever seen Kate run ragged.

"If anybody was meant to have three children under three, it's Kate.

"She is cool, calm, laid-back, just very together. She's a mother who has lost her daughter. She needs support, understanding and help in finding her lost child."

The McCanns' close friends spoke out as the couple released fresh family pictures in a bid to re-focus attention on the hunt for four-year-old Maddie, who disappeared while the family were on holiday in Portugal on May 3.

In one stunning image, shown on our front page, the smiling tot, then aged two, stares straight at the camera-clearly showing the telltale mark on her right iris.

Snaps taken at the couple's wedding in Liverpool in 1998 show bride Kate wearing a tiara and lovingly cooing at her god-daughter Ellie, who is cradled by heart surgeon hubby Gerry.

In another shot, the fresh faced couple look happy and relaxed at a friend's wedding. It seems a world away from recent images of Kate, looking gaunt and pale with the stress written on her face.

Last night Linda McQueen, who has known Kate since she was just six months old and living close by in Huyton, Merseyside, said: "I want people to know who Kate is and what she is like.

"To have these words said about her is just so unfair and hurtful."

She rushed to her best friend's side in Portugal when little Madeleine first vanished. In the terrible aftermath she helped Kate look after the McCanns' two-year-old twins, Sean and Amelie.

It has been more than a week since Kate and Gerry were formally named as "arguidos" or suspects by the Portuguese police investigating Maddie's disappearance.

Portuguese sources claim Kate could have killed Madeleine by accident and conspired to conceal the body.


Sitting together and wearing Find Madeleine badges. Linda McQueen and Nicky Gill vehemently denied Kate or Gerry would ever hurt one of their kids.

Linda, who now lives in Formby, Merseyside, said: "Kate always wanted a large family so they mean the world to her. She's a fabulous mum."

Nicky, a personal trainer from Liverpool, went to All Saints primary school with Kate from the age of four. The mother-of-three said: "With all of our children as well, she's great. She's godmother to my youngest. She is just amazing, very caring and laid-back. We're proud to have the McCanns as friends."

Asked how she felt about one suggestion that Kate was "cold", Nicky said: "She is not cold at all. She is heartbroken. She is devastated.

"But she's also a strong person, really. We'll get her through it."

Pal Linda pointed out that the most important thing was to concentrate on the Find Maddie campaign.

She said: "We need to re-focus back on to finding Madeleine, and away from Kate and Gerry.

"We are not going to let Madeleine down."

Return to top of page Copyright © 2010 | Flash News Converted into Blogger Template by HackTutors