STRICTLY star Faye Tozer became so depressed after pop band Steps broke up that she dumped her husband and coldly cut him out of her life.
Heartbroken rocker Jasper Irn today lifts the lid on their turbulent, decade-long romance — and admits he has never fully moved on from their devastating divorce.
In an exclusive interview, Danish-born Jasper, 52, told The Sun on Sunday: “She became cold and distant to me and suddenly, after almost ten wonderful years together, everything started falling apart.
“One day she told me, ‘I’ve had enough. I don’t want to see you any more’. I was shocked.”
Faye, 42, last night began her bid to be crowned Strictly Come Dancing champ amid controversy over her professional dancing background.
For four years she was part of Steps alongside Lee Latchford-Evans, 43, Claire Richards, 41, Lisa Scott-Lee, 42, and Ian “H” Watkins, 42.
Jasper Irn believes the Steps break-up led to his divorce from Faye[/caption]
They scored two No1 singles and three chart-topping albums — and with music mogul Pete Waterman pulling the strings, sold more than 20million records worldwide.
When they split, Faye was forced to confront her heavy drinking as she went from being one of Britain’s biggest pop stars to roles in the West End and low-key tours.
Faye, from Dunstable, Beds, was just 20 when she met Jasper, a towering, long-haired drummer nine years her senior.
Speaking in his home city of Copenhagen, Jasper said: “When I first saw Faye, she was performing with a covers band called Deja Vu at the Cock Tavern pub in Maida Vale, West London.
Sex was amazing. We had so much chemistry
“Once we got together, we just clicked. Three months after we started dating she moved into my flat in South East London and met my daughter Luna.
“Faye and I would cuddle all the time and send each other texts when we were apart, saying ‘Huggies’.
“We wrote loads of love songs together. She tried to learn Danish but would get frustrated when we visited Denmark and everyone spoke English to her.
“We used to stay in and watch Friends. Neither of us could cook but I’d make a salad or we’d buy prawn sandwiches from a bakery she liked and share a bottle of wine.
“We partied hard and could get through a couple of bottles of wine and stay up until the sun rose. But we never did drugs.
“Our sex life was amazing. There was so much chemistry between us. We wanted to have two children and tried really hard to make that happen.”
Faye and Jasper tied the knot in a fairytale ceremony in Hertfordshire[/caption]
He said: “She really could do everything — sing, dance, act. She once spent four hours in the rain queuing to audition for a band.
“She got to the front but they told her, ‘Sorry, we’ve seen everyone we want to’. She came home crying but never gave up.
“When she got the part with Steps, they took off like a rocket.
“Faye got on with all of the band members — but H could be a diva and a pain in the ar*e sometimes.
“Pete Waterman was a strange one. He would have what seemed like the dumbest idea and we’d tell him, ‘That will never work’. But it always did.”
Faye was a huge romantic and she proposed to Jasper in 1999.
He said: “She scrawled ‘Will you marry me?’ in lipstick on the bathroom mirror. I immediately said yes. There was never any doubt in my mind that we would spend the rest of our lives together.”
But they did argue sometimes about her work commitments.
Jasper said: “We spent long times apart as she would be in Los Angeles or Australia. During the second Steps tour, I got crazy jealous thinking she might be having an affair with one of her male backing dancers.
“I could see them getting close during shows. I confronted her about it but she denied anything happened.”
The most severe test came when Steps split in 2001, following rows over who would use the private jet and H’s secret affair with manager Tim Byrne.
Jasper said: “We were skiing in France and Faye got a call out of the blue telling her the band was splitting up and H and Claire were going solo. She was absolutely devastated.”
The pain was eased by their wedding the following year at Brocket Hall, Herts, which featured in Hello! magazine.
Jasper, who also now works as a nurse, said: “I wanted to be like James Bond for the day, so I arranged to be driven to the service in a vintage Aston Martin. The thing broke down and I had to walk the last 15 minutes in my bespoke £7,000 suit.
“When I got there, security wouldn’t let me in as they thought I was a lunatic. After 20 minutes of arguing someone called to tell them who I was.
“The wedding was amazing — a fairytale. We partied hard that night. Faye was so happy that she cried.
Faye married Michael Smith in 2009[/caption]
“I look up pictures of the wedding on the internet from time to time as I don’t have any myself.”
But after their lavish honeymoon in Miami and at Brazil’s Copacabana beach, cracks started to appear.
Faye became depressed, drank too much and, as she put it herself, went into a “shell”.
She has blamed her out-of-control boozing on the marriage split — but Jasper remembers things differently.
Faye gets a hug from her Strictly dance partner Giovanni Pernice[/caption]
He said: “By then we were living in a nice house in Pinner, North West London. We had lots of big parties and a cleaner who kept the place tidy without us having to argue about who did the dishes or anything.
“But I guess it wasn’t as glamorous or exciting as the life we had got used to during the wedding and the honeymoon. Faye became grumpy all the time. The end of the band left such a void in her life. I had been dropped by Island Records and our lives had changed dramatically.
“I didn’t think Faye had a problem with alcohol because she was always a happy drunk. But she was traumatised. She was constantly down.
“We didn’t argue much but she became grumpy all the time and was clearly fed up with me. I reacted by spending more and more time recording music.
“Eventually the moods became so bad that I told her, ‘Let’s have a break. I’m going to live in my studio for a month’.
“That made the situation worse. I was young and stupid. I think Faye wanted me to fight for her.
“We began living separate lives. One day she told me, ‘I’ve had enough. I don’t want to see you any more’. Looking back, I should have told her, ‘We are married and we are staying married’. Instead, I turned and walked away. A huge mistake.”
Faye filed for divorce in 2006, citing irreconcilable differences, and cut her ex out of her life, refusing to take his calls.
Faye poses with the female line-up for this year’s Strictly, which includes former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts and TV presenter Kate Silverton[/caption]
Jasper said: “One day she completely cut me off and I haven’t spoken to her since.
“Our divorce was like a death but at least when someone dies you can bury them and move on. With a marriage, and when the person is on TV, you can’t.”
Two years after their split, Faye married businessman Michael Smith. Their son Benjamin Barrington Tozer-Smith is nine. But even now, single Jasper wants her back.
He said: “I haven’t had another long-term relationship since I broke up with Faye. And while I want to respect her husband, I think it was a mistake for us to divorce.
“We should have had marriage counselling. I would love it if she read this and got in touch.
“I truly believe Faye and I would still be married if Steps had stayed together.”
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