DOI’s Jason Donovan’s feud with mum after claims she ‘walked out’ when he was 4
Dancing On Ice star Jason Donovan's mum ended her marriage to his actor father when he was a child.
In Donovan's book, Between The Lines: My Story Uncut, he tells how, as a child, he felt abandoned after Sue McIntosh left the family four years after she gave birth to him aged 21.
The actor claimed that he was left feeling troubled after his mum left him and his dad Terence Donovan, who starred in Neighbours as Doug Willis.
After the split, Sue and Terence were embroiled in a bitter divorce battle, which was finalised in 1973, with Terence being granted custody of Jason, and his dad brought him up on his own.
Donovan wrote in the book: "To say that my mother abandoned me would be too strong.
"When she walked out of the family home that day I realise now that she wasn't walking away from me but from her marriage.
"However, as a small child, there were times when I did see it that way. Why my parents couldn't have put their differences behind them for the sake of their child still remains a mystery to me."
Speaking about the inner turmoil he felt over his mum leaving, Jason told The Guardian: "It would be naive to say the divorce didn't affect me and for a while I was very clingy, but I grew out of it and I had a very happy childhood.
"Dad's only shortcoming as a parent was his cooking. It was really terrible."
However, after the book was published, Sue shared her own experience of leaving her family.
Sue told Woman's Day in 2011: "I took him with me when I left our home in Melbourne and I left because it was a horrendous situation.
"For a young girl it was not only shocking but extremely upsetting, but Jason is totally dismissive of my version of the past."
In 2011, Sue claimed that she had not spoken to Jason since his visit to Australia in 2007 to publicise his book, and that she was not invited to his wedding.
Sue has since gone on to marry her partner John and welcomed three more children.
The Australian TV personality says she found it too distressing to see Donovan with his father, so she "simply stepped out of the picture", adding she was "floundering".
She said: "Looking back, I probably wasn’t tough enough and I wish more than anything I’d had more grit."
Sue's concerns about the book were compounded when she wasn't invited to her son's wedding and discovered on the radio that her third grandson had been born.
The Aussie grandmother says that while some celebrities manage to write books without bitterness, Jason had gone a step further in order to gain financially.
She added: "Jason has taken the dollars and had a good crack at people he does love deep down. I just hope in later years he finds it's all been worthwhile."
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