Denise and Lee’s vital stats:
Denise Van Outen, born 27 May 1974
Lee Mead, born 14 July 1981
Denise and Lee’s child:
Betsy Mead, born 1 May 2010
2007 – 2017
Denise Van Outen and Lee Mead met whilst filming Andrew Lloyd Webber’s reality show Any Dream Will Do and began dating in November 2007. In January 2009, the couple announced their engagement, and wed in April in a private ceremony in the Seychelles.
Denise left her party ways behind when she became pregnant with the couple’s first child at the end of 2009. “It’s like I’ve been waiting my whole life to be pregnant,” Denise said at the time. “For the first time in my life, I’m looking forward to looking fat for a reason.”
After finding out they were having a baby girl, Denise had a celeb-filled baby shower, with new best friend Myleene Klass, and was given lots of pink baby gear. “It took Lee and me three hours to open all the presents,” Denise said.
The expectant mum also befriended fellow pregnant star, Dannii Minogue. “I’ve been bonding with Dannii over the whole experience. I’ve given her and Kris a parenting guide called The Baby Whisperer,” Denise said.
Denise was also in the centre of claims that she was fired from being a talent judge on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s show Over the Rainbow for being pregnant. However, she clearly showed everyone that being 6 months pregnant was not a hindrance by walking down the catwalk for the opening of London Fashion Week, in February 2010.
Betsy Mead was born weighing 7lb 10oz on 1 May 2010.
While Denise’s pregnancy went smoothly, things post-baby weren’t quite so simple. Many Twitter rows were sparked regarding Denise and her parenting skills – one over Denise revealing she gave up breastfeeding her daughter after feeling too self-conscious to do it in public.
Denise was also criticised by fellow celebrity mum, Natalie Cassidy, for returning to work two weeks after giving birth.
But with Lee working nights performing in the West End musical Wicked, he was free to stay home during the day and look after his daughter whilst Denise worked, “Our little girl is looked after by her parents most of the time which works out perfectly.”
She retaliated to the attack saying, “She [Natalie Cassidy] said she did the show for money, so yes, that is work. Pot calling! We put our family picture out to press to raise money for Great Ormond street, she did a family shot and put the money in her pocket.”
Another thing Denise spoke out about was her changing body shape post-baby, and even revealed that her feet grew a whole size during pregnancy and never went back! Denise also admitted that her life has completely changed since having a baby, from changing nappies to becoming a “midnight mum”.
The busy working mum also launched her own maternity clothing range, DVO, and then created a follow-up collection called the DVO ‘Signature’ label.
Denise has admitted she underestimated how hard having a child would be. However, both Denise and Lee are quick to fight the rumours that they are having marriage problems.
“I knew even before I married her that she’d be a great mum, and that’s part of the reason I fell for her. She’s a wonderful mum and a great wife. I got really lucky. I love being a dad and I don’t understand blokes who aren’t hands on and don’t want to change nappies,” Lee said in an interview at the time.
In 2013, Lee and Denise announced their separation.
In 2016, the exes were pictured holidaying together in Dubai along with Betsy, now 5.