Former WAG Stephanie Ward, who was in a relationship with Manchester United player Danny Simpson has finally shared the details of their tumultuous romance.
Simpson was found guilty of assaulting Ward after police were called to their house during an argument in 2014.
The Premier League player was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and Ward now strenuously denies he assaulted her, and has even said they have now mended their relationship and are on friendly terms to co-parent their daughter.
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But Ward, who trained to be a therapist after their relationship ended, has finally opened up about what it's like being a WAG, and even said she "feels sorry" for Coleen Rooney.
“Your whole life, as a partner of a footballer, is solely about the footballer. I wasn’t my own person.
"When you are dating a footballer, you can't be an independent woman. You are secondary to him. You are his personal assistant, his lover, best friend and confidante and it's a lot of pressure.
“I feel sorry for the likes of Coleen when things have happened so publicly for her in the past with Wayne because you don't get a voice, you don't get a chance to say what really happened because if you do that, it reflects badly on the football world.
"So I can't imagine the self-control that Coleen Rooney and other WAGs – I hate that word – need to have when they are sat there knowing things that are being written about them that are untrue and they have no other support.
"I have immense respect for her and the other girls because you are constantly told every day how your relationship is.
"Yet no one actually really knows. In the relationship, you are so focused on protecting his career, there's a lot of mental work that goes into the relationship and you live a very lonely life."
Following their split in 2014, Danny desperately tried to win Stephanie back and it spiralled into a drunken argument and ended up with Stephanie calling the police from her house.
She recalled: "We were arguing in the taxi and on Instagram, someone had posted a picture of me, It was like a modelling page. And he was like, 'Oh, is this why you don't want to be with me because people will start to notice you now?'
"We had this real jealousy thing going on between each other.
"Honestly if you had been there it was quite comical with two people screaming at each other but then it wasn’t. He was calling me names saying: 'You don't appreciate me, you don't care about me, you're abandoning me.'
“We were having this huge toxic argument and I said, "If you don't leave, I'm gonna call the police.
"He didn't leave and so I called the police and we were actually screaming at each other and he was on top of me trying to get my shoes off me," as she revealed the shoes had been a gift from him that he wanted to take back.
When the police arrived they believed that Danny was trying to strangle Stephanie, which is something she strenuously denies. They separated the pair and put Danny in a police van.
She says: “When the police came in we were saying awful things to each other.
“But he wasn't abusing me or beating me up or doing anything horrific.
“At no point did he put his hands around my neck to try and strangle me and at no point did I give a statement or withdraw it, which is what reports later said.
“We had always had arguments that had been toxic, but there wasn't domestic violence. I haven't ever been abused. I am a fiery woman, opinionated, and I'm someone who can hold her own in conversations and I'd been portrayed as a victim.
“The female and male police officer sat down and explained to me, 'Do you know how many women have died this week from domestic violence? People don't intend to kill their spouses.' And I'm sat there like, “No, that's not this. That's not what this is."
Danny was arrested and was eventually convicted of assault, which Stephanie knows he was wrongly accused of. She never gave a statement and didn’t attend court.
Putting the record straight for the first time she says "He genuinely only wanted the shoes back and he didn't strangle me.
“He went into court thinking that he was going to get found innocent because he didn't see anything wrong with taking the shoes off me, but actually that went against him.”
However, Stephanie then went with the domestic violence charge as a way of getting back at Danny.
Danny narrowly avoided going to prison and was given community service.
Stephanie admits: "It was out of spite and I wanted him to feel what I was feeling. And there was no other way of doing that. This was my chance finally to go: You're a bad person. You're hurting me. So I'm gonna punish you for it."
Having retrained as a psychotherapist, Stephanie insists that she never wants to be defined by what happened to her.
She said: "I've managed to help a lot of women, and it's really healed a lot of my own journey. I can understand now why Danny and I were attracted to each other, I can understand why our relationship was toxic. I can see from a clearer perspective now what happened.
Stephanie now has an amicable relationship with her former partner and the pair are solid friends but she still believes they could have survived had there been more support in place.
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