Great Britain

Trisha Goddard recalls finding out her ex-husband had Aids

Television presenter Trisha Goddard has revealed that she had an Aids scare in the late 1980s, after the birth of her daughter Billie.

Appearing on Loose Women on Thursday, she opened up about finding out that her ex-husband, Australian politician Robert Nestdale, had died of Aids, not cancer.

Goddard had just had a baby with her new husband Mark Grieve, and feared she may have contracted HIV from Nestdale and passed it to her new husband and their child.

“I knew my ex-husband had cancer, I had heard through the grapevine, I phoned him up and commiserated him and asked him about it, and he said the prognosis didn’t look very good,” said the presenter to the panel.

“It was sad but I wasn’t shocked because I knew he had become increasingly unwell, and then it was afterwards that ... one of his colleagues told me that it wasn’t cancer, it was Aids. 

“And of course, I had just given birth.”

Goddard recalled having limited information about the virus in 1989, and how she arranged for her and her newborn to go immediately to St Vincent’s hospital in Sydney for a blood test. The doctor explained that if Goddard had the virus her baby would also have it.

“I remember Billie crying and wanted to breastfeed her, but at the same time thinking, I am killing her, it was pretty vile.” After three weeks her results came back negative.

“[It was] just pretty rough,” she explained. 

Even after the trauma and stress the HIV scare caused, Goddard said she never resented her ex-husband. “After all of that I never hated Robert, because he had to live that lie,” she said to the panel.

Goddard got married to Nestdale in 1985, first meeting him when working as a flight attendant for Gulf Air. She wrote in her 2008 autobiography Trisha: As I Am: “Everyone thought Robert was honourable, but he told terrible lies all the way to his deathbed”.

She’s previously admitted that she was never in love with Nestdale. “As he was slipping the engagement ring on my finger I knew I wasn’t in love, and I wasn’t so sure he was either,” she disclosed in her book. Since his death, the TV star has support LGBT+ rights, and attended Mardi Gras. 

The TV presenter also appeared on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories on Thursday evening, in which she spoke about her Aids scare, her experiences of racism and her three failed marriages.

“Trisha Goddard is extraordinary,” said Morgan during the summary of his guest. “Her life directly mirrors an entire series of one of her shows. 

“Through it all, suicide attempts, cancer, three quite tumultuous marriages, there’s so much to get emotional about. But she’s a tough cookie”.

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