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It was worth the dollars 250,000 to get rid of my Corrie Street love cheat says C5 star Leeza Gibbons; Life after Chris: Chat show queen opens her heart about her marriage from hell.

American chat show sizzler Leeza Gibbons says the dollars 250,000 it cost her to divorce Chris Quinten was worth every cent.

The star of Channel 5's Oprah Winfrey-style show has opened her heart about her failed marriage to the former Coronation Street star.

She's told how Quinten:

Threw an orgy at her Beverly Hills mansion while she was out of town.

Spent his nights in bars while she went through a difficult pregnancy. But amazingly, the stunning presenter revealed she's never felt bitter towards her ex-husband.

Leeza, who wed Quinten in 1988 and filed for divorce in 1990, said: "I would have gone to the end of the earth for Chris. I loved him very much.

"I was even prepared to abandon my career and go and live with him in Britain and help him to pursue his career.

"But what really destroyed our marriage was that we just had different rules for our lives - different standards of being and living.

Leeza, whose daughter, Alexandria, is now seven, added: "But I guess you can't change people if they don't want to change."

The star wrote her own personal book of heartache during the split from Quinten, sealed it and addressed it to her baby girl for her to read when she is an adult.

Leeza said: "I want to let those pages speak for themselves - only in those pages will she find the answers to the questions she might have. In this letter she will find the truth.

"All of my heart is in those pages."

Leeza had to pay Quinten dollars 250,000 as part of the divorce settlement.

But she admitted: "Chris and I will always have a bond because of our beautiful daughter."

"He is Lexi's daddy and, hopefully, my letter to her will help her to understand why our marriage didn't work."

Nowadays, life is sweet for lovely Leeza, who's happily re-married to architect Steve Meadows, with whom she has a four year-old son, Troy.

They live in a lavish Beverly Hills mansion once owned by Hollywood diva Joan Crawford.

And she's confident that in Steve she has found the man with whom she'll spend the rest of her life.

Leeza admitted: "I thought I had found that man when I met Chris.

"He has another daughter now and I know Lexi is excited by the idea of having a baby sister and perhaps visiting her.

"Lexi speaks with her father on the phone and I get on very well with him because of our daughter.

"I don't harbour any bad feelings towards him - after all, he is a hero figure to Lexi.

"Pretty soon, she's going to be old enough to explore their relationship further.

"Chris is getting on with his life. He has a darling little girl of his own and sends us pictures of her.

"Lexi is a very mature little girl and I'm totally expecting a time when she wants to know more about her father."

When you express surprise at her forgiveness, she smiles through gritted teeth: "It's amazing what you can do when the welfare of your own child is involved.

"Besides, I've always had this tendency to focus only on the wonderful aspects of my life, rather than dwelling on the unhappiness."

Leeza is only too aware that Lexi is being raised in a very different manner to her half- sister back in the UK.

She said: "We live in this beautiful home surrounded by luxury.

" I come from a very humble background, so I don't take any of it for granted, but it's difficult for a child to find the right values when they're given so much at an early age.

"I work really hard at giving proper values to my children and that is probably my most difficult task in motherhood.

"Sometimes, they'll go over to someone's house and there will be a screening room where they'll watch the latest movie as a butler offers them popcorn.

"My kids almost expect to be taken places in the limousine and I am at pains to explain that this isn't how the real world lives."

During her 10 years on America's hit Entertainment Tonight, seen here on satellite, Leeza has interviewed just about every celebrity in the business.

Her top-rated chat show Leeza combines celebrities with topical issues and human interest stories, and recent guests have included Kim Basinger and Roseanne.

She happily admits that it is her mistakes in life which have helped to give her a compassionate edge over her chat show rivals.

She said: "I don't think you can truly be compassionate or understanding until you've made a few mistakes of your own. I don't like to trap my guests into revealing things that will be painful for them for the sake of my TV ratings.

"I always try to protect them from that, because their lives have to go on long after the show has aired.

"Time and time again issues arise about which I've had first-hand experience.

"Be it a broken marriage or a broken heart.

"One of the themes that regularly comes up is that of trying to change people.

"My experience with Chris taught me that you can never change another person.

"It is a real recipe for disaster."
COPYRIGHT 1997 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Pringle, Gill
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 1, 1997
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