Melanie Sykes explained how her son’s autism diagnosis “fueled” her marriage breakdown.
Valentino, now 17, was diagnosed at just three years old – before Mel parted ways with Daniel Caltagirone the following year.
In a new podcast, Mel said, “This boy is the light of my life. When he was diagnosed he changed my life.
READ MOREJames Martin Saturday morning under the fire of the “ridiculous” brownie recipe
“I couldn’t be in a marriage that I wasn’t happy in, so help him out. I had to cope and he helped me out of the situation I was in – he was definitely the fuel to move it to do it.
“When you are unhappy you cannot function as a parent.
“When you’re unhappy, you don’t show what a woman should face.
“With two boys, in particular, I was very aware of what they observed of me as a woman and what they were going to take in their adulthood when dealing with women – what either romantically or not, because at that point I didn’t know, I didn’t know what sexual persuasion they were going to be.
“It was just what women are and what women are capable of. I’m their primary wife, so whatever I do I want them to see me as someone to admire and respect.
“I think it’s my duty as a mother, to the boys in particular.”
Stay up to date with the latest news from your Birmingham street or neighborhood or the West Midlands with our Birmingham News email updates.