Kellie Maloney, the former boxing promoter Frank Maloney, has revealed she was forced to go public about her sex change operation after two newspapers threatened to expose her.
On Sunday, Maloney told the Sunday Mirror she was undergoing gender reassignment but, speaking in her first live television interview on Good Morning Britain, a "very nervous" Maloney admitted she had been doorstepped by journalists in February.
"I wanted the transition very privately because of my family - they are going through a lot as well and I wanted them protected," Maloney said.
Maloney used to be Lennox Lewis' boxing promoter
"But unfortunately someone exposed me at a group which I was going to - I was indoors and one day you get that dreaded knock at the door, it was journalist, I won’t say from which paper and obviously I denied all knowledge of it and they said they were going to run the story on the Sunday, so I got my lawyers involved and we had to sort of threaten injunctions.
"That was going on in February and we kept it under control and six weeks ago another newspaper turned up at my house, then they turned up at my daughter's house, they turned up at all members of my family’s house so I spoke with my lawyer and a couple of people who have been very good to me and I said, ‘look, I’m living in the shadow, I’m living in the dark, I can’t go out of my house no more and I’m terrified’ and I started switching back to Kellie and Frank and my head was getting so confused about it.
"I said I’d only do this as long as I’ve got control because previously transgender people have been ridiculed in the press and I didn’t want that to happen to me and I didn’t want it to happen to others because it would terrify others of coming out. So we built a relationship with the Sunday Mirror and they handled it very well and it came out and since then it’s exploded, but it was never my intention. My intention was just to bring a book out in 18 months when I had completely transitioned and my family had got used to it because they are under terrible pressure at the moment.”
On the reaction since the news broke Maloney added: "It’s been really good - from people I never expected it, like Stan Collymore, Lennox Lewis and other people in boxing have been fantastic, but more it has been great in the transgender community which is really what I want to help.
"There’s been some mothers that have got in contact via a support group and they’ve got young children that are going through it and they have asked would I come and talk to them and I’ve been invited to talk at a school so it’s something that I really want to do because, you know, I went through a lot of pain and struggle and I really would like to help them as much as possible now, now that I’ve sort of come out."