Haunted by her past

This is the story of an attractive young woman who simply couldn't resist the temptation of an illicit affair with a handsome bad boy. The woman (whose surname, to give you a clue, is Moss) had it all: ...

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Published: Fri 14 Jul 2006, 2:36 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:39 PM

a kind, hard-working partner, a beautiful daughter and the kind of comfortable existence many women would give their eye teeth for. Yet she risked losing the lot by falling for this dangerous character.

You don't exactly need the detective skills of Hercule Poirot to work this one out, do you?

In fact, the answer is not quite as obvious as it sounds. For the woman in question is not Kate Moss, but her mother, Linda.

It is not a particularly edifying story – the break-up of a marriage rarely is. And yet when it comes to understanding Britain's best-known model, it is hugely instructive. After all, the story of Kate Moss has contained more twists and turns than a plate of spaghetti ever since she burst into the public consciousness in the early 1990s.

Cocaine abuse and sexual excesses have, depressingly, contributed towards the supermodel's dubious renown.

She has sought treatment for both 'issues' in expensive rehabilitation clinics at home and abroad. And yet, according to those who know her best, the 32-year- old with the bewitching hazel eyes remains desperately unhappy.

The reason, they say, is the issue of love. Or, to be more precise, the lack of it. 'Kate is at her wits' end about her problems with men,' says one close friend. 'Despite being incredibly beautiful and rich, with loads of friends who care about her a great deal, she just can't find a suitable man to share her life with.

'The fundamental problem is that she is attracted to the wrong kind of man. She likes bad boys.

'In theory, she wants a nice caring man. But in reality, she is drawn to rock stars like Pete Doherty who are dangerous and unpredictable -- someone she can have a traumatically passionate relationship with.

'She's really down about it and it has reached the point where she is seriously considering going into therapy to get to the root of her problems.

'And as far as Kate is concerned, that means dealing with her parents' divorce, which she has never really come to terms with.'

It is worth noting that Kate has had opportunities to develop a mature and loving relationship. The one lasting union of recent years was with magazine publisher Jefferson Hack, the father of her three-year-old daughter Lila Grace.

But it seems the woman simply can't help it. Having spent years pining for her film star ex-boyfriend Johnny Depp, who dumped her at the height of her fame in the Nineties, her current obsession is the heroin and crack-addicted Doherty.

So what really did happen between Kate's parents?

At the time of the split, Peter and Linda Moss had been married for almost two decades and, to outsiders, appeared to have it all. The marriage produced two beautiful children, Kate, in 1974, and brother Nick two years later.

But for Linda this was not enough. She took a job in the local pub and it was there she was to meet the man who would turn her life — and that of her daughter — upside down.

Geoff Collman, a good-looking wheeler-dealer with a natural ability to make money, was everything Peter Moss was not. Racy and outrageous, with a tendency to flash his money around, he was instantly attracted to Linda — and the feeling was mutual.

Linda asked Peter for a trial separation to 'give each other some space'. He thought his wife was simply bored and dissatisfied, and only later discovered there was another man. He was devastated.

A series of blazing rows ensued, culminating in one particularly explosive confrontation, after which the marriage was declared to be over. The effect on Kate was devastating. For her, the divorce changed everything. Not least because her big break — being spotted at the tender age of 14 by Sarah Doukas of the Storm model agency — unfolded at JFK airport in New York in 1988, when her father had taken her on holiday as part of the trial separation.

'The breakdown of Linda and Peter's marriage had a massive effect on Kate and her brother Nick,' says the friend. 'It was a really painful time for all the family, with lots of heated arguments and one massive screaming match when it finally came to an end.'

At the time, Kate was still attending Riddlesdown High School in Croydon. Friends remember her 'going off the rails at that point', disappearing with unsuitable boys.

'Modelling offered her an escape. It provided fun and excitement, but it's a very unreal life. Kate has been living in this unreal hedonistic bubble for years and doesn't know how to make the mental shift to a more real world.'

Another long- standing friend says: 'Kate's not happy being the eternal party girl and wants to get a bit more normality in her life, and one way of doing that is to try to get to the root of her problems.

'She's very aware she is stuck in a cycle of destructive behaviour. She knows she chooses destructive relationships and wants to change that. She's more like a predatory man than a woman when it comes to relationships.

'I think seeing her parents' marriage fail had a big effect on her. She finds it hard to commit because she saw this failure at such a young age.'

There is no escaping the fact that this is a young woman with big problems. The fact that she has received repeated treatment for 'exhaustion' — celebrity-speak for drug, alcohol and emotional problems — on several occasions speaks for itself.

And while her parents have always maintained that Kate was unaffected by their split, friends insist otherwise.

According to one, the long suppressed feelings of devastation have been brought to the fore in the aftermath of last year's tabloid frenzy when she fell for Doherty and crashed into a lifestyle of flagrant drug abuse and partying.

It all came to a head when she was secretly filmed snorting cocaine last September. Shortly afterwards, she checked herself into an Arizona rehabilitation clinic.

'Kate felt that when she came out of rehab, her life would dramatically-change — and, more importantly, that something inside of her would change,' says a source.

'She did have this amazing few weeks immediately afterwards, when she was living in California with Lila, and she kept saying everything in her head was so clear and how light she felt.

'Her father came over for a while and it was a very happy time. But six months down the line, she feels everything has gone back to how her life was even before she met Pete.

'She's out partying and drinking — back in the old cycle of life, with the same people around her, the same superficial conversations.'

Meanwhile, the spectre of Doherty still looms large in her life. Just last week, a poem she had written in confidence for him was published, seemingly with the singer's tacit approval.

In it she wrote: 'You love them (drugs) more than you love me/ So that's why I could cry all day/ That's why I can't breath(e).'

'Out of everyone who knows Kate, the person who loathed Pete Doherty most of all was her mother,' says a source. 'She just knew that he ticked all the selfdestructive boxes that Kate loves.

'Her biggest worry is that Kate and Pete will get back together.'

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