Getting through to the real Katie Hopkins: An Interview

Before you get down to reading this interview I did with Katie Hopkins, and I can’t believe I am having to write this, but please read this disclaimer. Katie, like ANY human, has opinions. Some of these opinions people may agree with, and others people may strongly disagree with. Like her or not, she is human. When I was speaking to Katie, I saw a side of her that not a lot of people get to see. A loving, caring, and genuinely lovely lady. I am not condoning any of Katie’s previous comments that have been categorised as offensive because them comments were not discussed during my interview. Katie Hopkins is a woman who intrigues me, a woman who I was desperate to know more about – is the media’s Katie the real Katie? And THAT reason is why I wanted to conduct this interview. I am a strong believer of, there is good in everyone. Whether you agree or disagree, that is my personal belief, and that is why I set up this interview. I wanted to chat to Katie and get the good out of her, find out what Katie the mother, daughter, friend, wife etc is like. Nothing in my interview was said to cause offence to anyone, and if I thought one of Katie’s comments would cause offence I would never post it on my blog because I am all about promoting positivity. I am not giving a platform for negativity, which, if you have the open-mindedness to read this interview you will see. Before the interview begun, I told Katie that I didn’t agree with a large number of her comments she has publicly made, but on some occasions, like many other people, I have agreed with her.

Within minutes of me announcing that I had interviewed Katie, I was receiving multiple dms, texts and tweets from family, friends and strangers asking me why and calling me out, saying very nasty comments towards me simply because I intervened Katie. Do I regret the interview? Absolutely not. And do you want to know why? Because I am extremely proud that I managed to delve deep enough into Katie’s life to show she has some good – whether you like her or not, based upon my interview I can honestly say I enjoyed speaking to her.

If you have got this far and you continue to read on then thank you. Thank you for giving this interview a chance because there will be so many people who jump to the conclusions and stick by their assumptions. I’m not here to try and change your viewpoint on Katie because no one can change your opinions on a person but yourself. I am simply here to show you the Katie that I spent time with, and the Katie that I interviewed.

Katie Hopkins

You’ve been quite open in the past about the number of epileptic seizures you have had, would you say that’s because you wanted to help people who were suffering themselves and sort of saying that you know what, you’re not alone, using your platform as a power? 

Yes! I think everyone has their own way of dealing with these sorts of things, and I don’t think there’s a right way or a wrong way. I think that sometimes people are critical of people that are well known who don’t speak out about things such as Epilepsy, but I don’t really see it like that. Everyone has to make their own decision about whether they want to speak out about it or not. There are a lot of people who I know in the public eye who speak out about their conditions, and there are a lot of people who choose to hide it, and both are completely fine. I hid my epilepsy for the first 20 years of my life. I didn’t tell anybody about it. But having got to a point where I feel strong enough to talk about it, I feel really relieved to have spoken up. I believe that everyone will suffer from something in their lifetime, some people may struggle to not go out of the door because they simply don’t feel great about themselves, and that is fine. Everyone deals with situations different! And I think that’s why I spoke out about my Epilepsy to try and encourage people it’s okay to speak out, but also show that if you aren’t ready to speak out that’s also okay. Surround yourself with people that help you feel comfortable and help you feel that little bit better about yourself.

I think there’s a real sense of admiration here, I understand the reasonings to keep things hidden because sometimes you just don’t feel ready for the world to know, and I get that having done similar myself, and in a sense that shows real strength because you are having to try and balance everything yourself. But what I really admire about you, is sometimes people can crack under the serious amounts of pressure, but you kept going while hiding your epilepsy and managed to achieve some really great things! 

Yes, thank you! There are two sides to this, honesty counts and I get that people should be honest. Look I lied about my epilepsy, and I’m not saying that lying is good because honesty does matter. But personally, would I lie about my condition again in that situation when I was starting out? Yes, I would. I didn’t want my epilepsy to define me as a person. I feel like now, we have got to a point in life when now we are all encouraged in life to talk about our own personal issues, and I know sometimes, for example, job application forms where it asks have you got any conditions, people get scared to put down what exactly they do suffer from. But, speaking as an employer, what we want is someone who is reliable, efficient and going to turn up. So if you are comfortable doing so, speak up and you will not be judged by it.

So in your line of work, you’re in the public eye a lot – you’re like marmite – people either love or hate you, there’s no happy medium! Is that kind of hard to switch off and become mummy Katie or? 

It’s weirdly easily actually! Yes, you’re right, it goes one of two ways, I get extreme hate or you get people who drive past me yelling “Hopkins for Prime Minster” – it’s crazy!

They are two very different extremes! 

Yes, and as we know I’m much better at dealing with the hate comments than the compliments! When someone yells positive comments I’m like oh thank you and don’t really know how to respond, but with hate, I can fight back.

I can see where you’re coming from! I think, as a society that is extremely media influenced, we find it hard to accept compliments because we compare ourselves to the media’s perfections! 

Yes we are awful at it, aren’t we! I think in life, and I’ve noticed more so ladies but it does happen with men too, that we get compliments for example “oh that dress is nice” and instead of being like thank you and accepting the compliments we stand there and do that weird thing where we sort of fight back as if you try and avoid the compliment. I’ve noticed that we are all quite bad for not just accepting the compliment and thinking you know what, I look nice today, I do rock this outfit, my hair is great – we need to fuel ourselves with the confidence that other people see within us – I think this is such a big big thing!!

I’m very defensive of my mum, someone could literally look at her the wrong way and I’d already be ready to you know start yelling and shouting at them. Are your kids quite defensive of you, or do you kind of try and keep them away from the press so they don’t have to sort of defend you in your absence?

Yeah, they don’t see a lot of it, they are not sheltered from it we have tablets and computers at home so they could see it. But I try to keep them off the likes of Twitter. They are of a young age and I’m one of those means mums that doesn’t let them have all that social media stuff yet because I really see it as a bad thing for children their age because I believe we should keep them doing children things for as long as we can. I’d say it’s nice because when we are out if my children are with me I don’t tend to get nasty comments, I’ll get people coming up and saying nice things to me which I suppose is thoughtful of them. Their friends are so supportive too which is nice.

I completely see your points raised for social media! For someone who’s career and life is based on social media *at this point Katie then went on to praise my blog saying she sat and read it so thank you, Katie* I do find it hard to “leave the social media out” – I’ll be out somewhere and I could do something so minor like stepping in a puddle and I’d be straight onto Twitter tweeting about how angry I am over this puddle, so I do really agree with keeping kids off at such a young age because I will admit it is incredibly addictive! And at such young ages we are all still growing up and may say things we don’t mean, and recently we have learnt that things can, and will, come back to haunt us! For example, Jack Maynard!!! 

Yes, I loved him!! I haven’t been watching much but I went on Twitter and saw my entire feed  was people tagging me and comparing me to Jack and saying he shouldn’t have been kicked out and I should have when I was in – and I don’t know what Jack’s tweets were, but the idea he has been kicked out over something he tweeted years ago I think is sinister.

He was 16/17 when he tweeted it, and it’s so crazy that people have gone out of their way to find these tweets and bring them to light. 

Aw, bless him, I hate it. He’s going to have come out of being isolated from the world, which in his career would’ve been very hard- and see all of this negativity surrounding him. And I find that really disturbing, what if he isn’t feeling so great, what if he hasn’t got a good support network – and that to me is dangerous and overwhelming for him, and I hate these situations where this happens to people.

I follow you on Twitter, and I’ve noticed something particularly interesting. Now I do agree with some things you say, and If I agree I will openly admit this. However, some things you say I do strongly disagree with, but as humans, we can’t always agree with a person 24/7 because then the world just wouldn’t work. 

Yes, of course, that’s just us and I respect that!

But what I’ve found really interesting is that if people agree with you, they have to sort of set up this self defence barrier of “I really hate Katie Hopkins but….” before saying they agree with you – which I find quite crazy is that people have to put that because of the fear that if they say they agree with you on one simple thing, they will consequently get attacked!! 

Yes that’s so so true! I think especially recently with Jack, obviously I tweeted to his defence immediately when I saw what had happened, and of course I got so many of his fans replying like oh she’s horrible but I agree with this etc!! It’s now a standard saying I see, “I hate Katie Hopkins but…” and I totally get it – it is a self-protection mechanism! I do worry when I see people who are new to Twitter and come on and agree with something, I feel like saying run away from my account you’ll get persecuted by people for liking me!!

It’s like whatever you say there will always be your haters vs your supporters – I think it’d be interesting to tweet something so simple as “I love Puppies” just to see the response – you’d probably get people like “the only reason she loves puppies is because she’s the real-life Cruella de Vil!

Haha! That is so true! And I do get emails from a lot of young people for example, who say they do support me but can’t publicly say it because of the backlash and I do feel like saying thank you for the support but please look after yourself.

So let’s talk about your book Rude – Now I will be completely honest with you, I went on Amazon and looked at the reviews and I was expecting it to be filled with hate. 

I did the exact same!!!!

So I looked, and I saw all these 5-star reviews, and out of all the reviews on there, there was one negative one-star review – so naturally, I read that review first and it was someone who had just glanced at the book in a waiting room. So, I was reading the comments and people were so praiseful of it saying how good the book was, and how relatable it was and how you said everything they wanted to say. Was that kind of a bit overwhelming because I’m sure like you said you were expecting negative reviews? 

Yes, what you’ve said is precisely right! I just sat in a room by myself and just really opened up and put myself out there with this book – and the fact it came back to my house and looked like an actual book terrifies me to start with!! It was surreal, I was just talking to my computer and now it’s a book. I don’t tend to read articles about myself, but with Rude because it is me, it is personal, I thought I’d read the reviews, and you know, I was preparing myself for the negativity but like you said happened to you, I went on and saw all these positive comments and just didn’t know how to respond.

I can imagine it being quite emotional for you really?

Yes, it was! I think because there are chapters which are quite dark and detailed, for example, discussions about my epilepsy, and then there are chapters that are quite rude that you know I don’t want my mother to read – So I am pretty out there. And all the comments were so lovely, the ones that really touched me the most were the comments like “I read this because I wanted to hate it, but actually I loved it.

It’s a very good example of don’t judge a book by it’s a cover because people would see you on the front and naturally be like let’s not read this!

Yes, that is so true, I think that’s actually what someone said on Twitter. I think they see it and they see that it is Katie Hopkins and refuse to give it a go thinking it’ll be Katie Hopkins the big I Am, rather than Katie Hopkins the real person, the honest person, showing me as a just that, a person. I tried to get across how sometimes we don’t always look or feel our best, but that is okay – and I think that is quite a powerful message for a generation that filters itself to perfection.

And then, I had another meltdown because I went into the publisher to do the personalised messages for people inside the book because I think that’s a wonderful touch, and some of the messages really did touch me. I was writing these comments, and all of the messages were from like husbands, girlfriends, people who really love someone, and they were writing really encouraging things like “it’s been a tough year but you’ve done brilliantly, I’m proud of you”. I was just a mess, I was sat in this room signing these books in floods of tears, with publishers asking me if I’m okay! But I suppose what I can really take away from this, is people have used Rude to kind of send powerful messages of support to men and women whose lives aren’t necessarily perfect at the minute and I think that’s very cool that I’ve shown them it’s okay not to be okay, and everything will be okay no matter how bad things seem. And that’s my message to you all, it might not seem like it now but everything will be okay.

It was so lovely to speak to Katie away from cameras and away from the public eye to really have a lovely chat with her. If you want to take a chance on her book, you can purchase Rude from Amazon right here.

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