James Cracknell has claimed his ex-wife Beverley Turner ‘chipped away at his confidence’ as he reflected on their turbulent relationship on Sunday’s Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.
The former Olympic rower, 49, who split from the presenter in March 2019 after 17 years together, said he’s ‘really struggled’ after suffering a catastrophic brain injury in 2010, but still branded his ex an ‘amazing woman and mother.’
It comes after James tied the knot with his second wife Jordan Connell last month, with Beverley offering her congratulations for the couple on social media.
Struggles: James Cracknell has claimed his ex-wife Beverley Turner ‘chipped away at his confidence’ as he reflected on their turbulent relationship on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins
During his SAS interrogation, James detailed the struggles he and Beverley faced after he was knocked off his bike by a lorry travelling at 60mph when he was cycling in Arizona.
He said: ‘The assumption of having had a serious brain injury is that that then defines the rest of my life and ‘you won’t be able to do that, you won’t be able to do this.
‘My wife, well now ex-wife – she is an amazing woman and an amazing mother – but she always viewed me through the prism of that incident.
‘For someone who you love unconditionally to chip away at your confidence and then me not to reach out to mates and hide away, you’re left thinking… the worst things about yourself. I’ve really struggled.’
Tough: The former Olympic rower who split from the presenter in March 2019 after 17 years together (pictured in 2017), said he’s ‘really struggled’ after suffering a brain injury
Moving on: Since divorcing his ex-wife, James has remarried and tied the knot with wife Jordan O’Connell at the end of August (pictured above with Jordan in Dec 2019)
It comes after James questioned whether he ‘sacrificed too much time’ away from his family after ‘prioritising’ his work over the years.
The British rower admitted he was reduced to tears when forced to write a ‘final letter’ to his children while taking part in Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.
James reveals in a new interview with The Times that the process forced him to reflect on his life and his family, following his divorce from ex-wife Beverley Turner.
Reflective: It comes after James questioned whether he ‘sacrificed too much time’ away from his family after ‘prioritising’ his work over the years
The professional athlete is dad to three children from his previous marriage; son Croyde, 17, and daughters Kiki, 12, and Trixie, 10.
While competing on Celebrity SAS, the recruits were made to pen final letters to their families – the same way SAS protocol gets soldiers to write a letter home so grieving families can receive a final message from their loved ones who are killed while serving in the division.
James, who recently remarried and wed wife Jordan, said it was one of the only times he was reduced to tears while filming for the gruelling series.
He explained that the process helped him to make many realisations about his life, as he told the publication: ‘Having three kids and being divorced and not living with them… There’s things you go, like, ‘OK, actually, you prioritised working. Did you sacrifice too much time?’ You know what I mean?
Family: The rowing champion, 49, is father to Croyde, 17, Kiki, 12, and Trixie, 10, who he shares with his ex-wife Beverley (pictured)
Honest: James explained in a new interview that penning the letter made him realise he ‘prioritised work’ and the emotional process reduced him to tears (pictured in 2009)
‘You assume you’re going to live with them 24/7 rather than not. You asked me if I cried. Then, yes.’
James separated from ex-wife Beverley after the pair’s nine-year struggle following his crippling brain injury, which Beverley had nursed the sports star back to health from.
He was left in a coma and sustained damage to the part of the brain that governs memory, personality, and speech after he was knocked off his bike by the wing mirror of a petrol tanker in Arizona.
James, who previously expressed his gratitude towards his ex-wife for helping him with his recovery, touched on Beverley in his latest interview and insisted he ‘wants her to be happy’.
‘I want the kids to be happy and that’s much better if they’ve got a happy mum. So I wish her well in work, relationship because then it’s going to be a happy house. I’m sure she wants the same for me,’ James said.
Emotional: James was forced to write the letter as part of the final stages of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins which imitated soldiers penning a final message for grieving families
Like James, Beverley, 47, has moved on with boyfriend and eco-property developer James Pritchett, 32, who she has been dating for over a year.
James, meanwhile, is now married to second wife Jordan, who is 14 years his junior, with the pair tying the knot last month, nine months after confirming their engagement.
James met new love Jordan while they both were studying at Cambridge University. He was studying for a masters in human evolution at Peterhouse College, while Jordan spent 12-months training for an MBA at Cambridge Judge Business School.
The pair began dating after finishing their degrees and were living together in west London throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Elsewhere in his interview, James spoke about a cancer scare he had prior to appearing on Celebrity SAS, which led to him recovering from an operation during filming of the show.
‘I want her to be happy’: The sportsman touched on his ex-wife Beverley in his latest interview and insisted he ‘wants her to be happy’ so his kids can ‘be happy’
He was forced to undergo surgery on his scrotum, after a two-way valve into his testicles became blocked, causing it to become swollen.
Doctors had tested for cancer as a precaution prior to James having the surgery, with the star admitting the 48-hour wait for his results was ‘the real suffering’ and had been ‘worrying’.
The results revealed it wasn’t cancer and post-op James explained it wasn’t so much painful, but more ‘awkward’ as it made it difficult to wear harnesses, which was required for a number of tasks throughout the series.
James also suffered a busted hand and rib during filming, however, his efforts saw him through to the final stages of Celebrity SAS, currently playing out for viewers on Channel 4.
He joins the likes of Love Island’s Wes Nelson, Ore Oduba, Alexandra Burke, Jake Quickenden and Vicky Pattison on the series.
Recruits: James appeared on the third series of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins alongside a host of new recruits, including Vicky Pattison, Jake Quickenden and Alexandra Burke