Although phone hacking has been dominating the news for ages, it still came as a surprise when Jade Goody’s widower, Jack Tweed, came to Star telling us of his suspicions that their phones were hacked during her final days.
We decided to find out more – and also catch up on what Jack has been up to in the past few months. After losing Jade to cervical cancer in March 2009, Jack, 24, was sent to prison on assault charges.
But, in recent months, he has picked himself up and is living back at home with his parents, and is busy promoting club nights in Marbella with his best friend, The Only Way Is Essex star, Mark Wright.
When we meet him in a London café, he looks tanned and relaxed, having just got back from Portugal. Over a pint, he tells us about his hacking theory, his thoughts on TOWIE and what’s going on right now with his on/off girlfriend Chanelle Hayes…
Hi, Jack! How are you? “Good thanks, just keeping my head down.”
Tell us about your phonehacking suspicions…
“Well, Jade used to say to my dad that she thought her phone had been hacked because there were stories going into the paper that she had literally only told her best mate or me. At the time I thought: ‘They’re not the FBI, they’re the News Of The World, so why would they break into her phone?’”
What stories do you think they may have got from it?
“There was so much going on but I always wondered how they knew about when I lifted Jade up to see her sons Bobby and Freddy playing outside in her final moments. It was only the two of us in the room.”
How do you feel about it?
“I’ve never had a problem with newspapers and the paparazzi – they are just doing their job. But if they did that when she had terminal cancer – it’s disgusting. There are limits to where you go. I don’t want them to get away with it, and she wouldn’t have wanted that, either.”
If you get compensation, will you give it to Jade’s boys?
“Of course I would. I gave them every single penny from the wedding.”
Have you spoken to their father, Jeff Brazier, about your worries?
“I haven’t spoken to him since a month after Jade passed away.”
Have you been in touch with him since?
“Yeah, I’ve written him loads of letters and left messages. I said to him: ‘Even for an hour a month, with you in the same room, can I see and play with the boys?’ But I’ve heard nothing back.”
Will he not answer your calls, then?
“No, and I’ve been given no explanation. I know the boys talk about me because I still speak to Jackiey [Budden – Jade’s mum] and Jade’s friend Jen on and off, and they told me Freddy said the other week: ‘I want to see my stepdad Jack.’ I think Jeff’s always wanted me out of their lives because I had a laugh with the boys and I didn’t tell them off. Obviously I was responsible and wouldn’t let them do anything stupid, but I didn’t put them on the naughty step.”
Are you upset at him for not letting you see them?
“I don’t want to slag him off because if I was in his situation maybe I would be the same as him. I could see where he was coming from because I was going off the rails, but I’m not in trouble now, so an hour of his month spent sitting in the same room as me wouldn’t hurt him.”
Do you miss Jade?
“Every day. I go to her grave all the time.”
Moving on, do you regret not being part of TOWIE?
“I wasn’t involved in the first place as I was in prison. But I wouldn’t mind – it seems like it’s a real laugh.”
Is it difficult having them filming around you?
“I was living with Mark when they were first filming at the apartment. I would wake up and open the door in my pants, and there’d be a million people there!”
Do you think it’s caused problems for Mark and Lauren’s relationship?
“No, Mark and Lauren have always been like this. What you’re watching, I’ve had to deal with for years.”
Does their constant bickering annoy you?
“It does. None of us listen to him any more. Sometimes he says: ‘We’ve split up,’ and we’re all like: ‘Right Mark, whatever.’ And they’ll be back together an hour later.”
Will you be his best man when they marry?
“I don’t know. We haven’t spoken about it. I don’t think they are planning to marry quickly.”
Do you think they’ll last?
“Yeah, they obviously love each other and they are both weirdos in their own way, so let them get on with it.”
What about your love life?
“I’m just doing what every young lad does. I’m just a flirt. It’s all lies! [Laughs.]
“I used to be out every night in London getting drunk, but now I just go out once a week locally and try to leave at a sensible hour, instead of at seven in the morning.”
Are you with Chanelle at the moment?
“No, that’s over again – we’re just good friends now.”
“She lives so far away [in Leeds], so it’s hard to have a relationship. It takes about three-and-a-half hours to get there and I don’t drive, so once I’m there, I have to stay for a week. And then I’m away from everyone.”
Did she ever ask you to move to Leeds?
“She’s got no chance of me doing that. She was debating coming down here, but it just never happened.”
Do you still love her?
“I do still care for her because she’s a really nice girl. I enjoyed my time with her and I liked being around her. She’s sort of like Jade in a way, with her arguments all the time about nothing.”
Were you upset with her for getting her boobs done?
“Not in the slightest, it’s her body.”
She admits she’s body-conscious. Did you find that annoying?
“Yeah, she did go on about it a lot. She’s got a nice body, so she doesn’t need to diet.”
Did anything go on with you and Kerry Katona in Marbella?
“No. I know that she was out there at the same time but I’ve never even met her. She seems like a good laugh – I’d have a night out with her. She’s a pretty girl, but I don’t fancy her.”
What about Amy Childs?
“No, I knew her ex-boyfriend, Joe, and I wouldn’t tread on anyone’s toes.”
Finally, are you relieved to be out of the limelight for the time being? “I was never famous – I was just going out with Jade. I’m shy. That’s why me and Jade got on so well, because she was so loud and the centre of attention and I was just happy to watch her.”
Read the full story in this week’s Star magazine – out today