Charlotte Church has admitted that becoming famous as a child tore her family apart and caused her mother to have a nervous breakdown.

The singer, 33, said she only now understands what her success cost her parents.

Church fell out with her mother Maria when she was 16 after she started dating bad boy DJ Steven Johnson, and they didn't speak for nearly two years, the Daily Mail reports.

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In a candid interview, she spoke for the first time about the "stress and pressure" placed on her family when she became a household name aged 11.

Church was only 11 years old when she became a household name. She's since sold more than 10 million records worldwide, but fame didn't come without its sacrifices. Photo / Getty Images
Church was only 11 years old when she became a household name. She's since sold more than 10 million records worldwide, but fame didn't come without its sacrifices. Photo / Getty Images

She said: "I don't think anything went wrong, it was like a pressure cooker. It was an intense situation. You've got the stuff going on with the Press... on another level Mum and Dad were dealing with the security level we had going on, there were a couple of kidnap plots when I was a kid... we were living in each other's pockets."

Church appeared with her mother on ITV's This Morning ahead of a one-off documentary, Charlotte Church: My Family and Me. The Channel 4 show sees Church spend five days with her parents at a remote lodge in Devon.

Church says being a child star had its challenges: 'It was like a pressure cooker. It was an intense situation.' Image / ITV, This Morning
Church says being a child star had its challenges: 'It was like a pressure cooker. It was an intense situation.' Image / ITV, This Morning

The Welsh star, who has sold more than ten million records worldwide, said she was "really nervous" about watching the programme but added: "It made me really understand mum more, my dad. In a way that I didn't think was possible. To get more meaning.

"To really start to understand what my success cost my mum, my dad and how insane it must've been for them to go through that when trying to protect their daughter. I can't at all imagine."

Church's mother said that when her daughter left home at 16, after a series of fierce arguments over Mr Johnson, it left her devastated.

She said: "It was very, very brutal and very sudden. She broke my heart, I ended up having a nervous breakdown."

Adding that she is still in therapy, she continued: "It's early days but at least I'm trying to do something about it now because I've always suffered from mental health issues."

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Church's relationship with bad boy DJ Steven Johnson, which began when she was aged 16, caused a rift between her and her family. Photo / Getty Images
Church's relationship with bad boy DJ Steven Johnson, which began when she was aged 16, caused a rift between her and her family. Photo / Getty Images

Church, who is married to musician Jonny Powell, said she wanted to make the documentary to "set the record straight" and also explore her stepdad James's rare terminal illness, AL amyloidosis, which is similar to blood cancer.

She said: "My dad's got a terminal illness, but there's still a great deal of living to do and celebrate life rather than just get down in the doldrums.

"I think for me it was a chance for my mum and dad, who have had a really rough ride in the press for so long, to set the record straight and show who they are."

Church performing in 2005 in London, England. Photo / Getty Images
Church performing in 2005 in London, England. Photo / Getty Images