British TV star Jade Goody, who shot to notoriety in India for racially abusing actress Shilpa Shetty on 'Big Brother' show, lost her long and public battle with cervical cancer on Mother's day on Sunday. Terminally ill British TV reality star Jade Goody died in her sleep in the wee hours on Sunday, her publicist announced here.
Goody, 27, died in her sleep in the early hours on Sunday with her mother Jackiey and husband Jack Tweed by her side at her home in Upshire, Essex at 0844 IST (0314 GMT), away from public glare and cameras that dominated her short life.
She is survived by two sons Bobby (5) and Freddy (4) and husband Jack Tweed, for whom she has left a fortune earned by selling her cancer story to the media. Goody's sons had planned to hand over hand-made cards and flowers on Sunday morning to their mother. The star, who was being treated at the Royal Marsden Hospital in west London, was shifted to her home after expressing the desire to die surrounded by her family. She was in a coma-like state for the last 48 hours.
Goody's mother Jackiey Budden said, "My beautiful daughter is at peace."
Her publicist and close friend Clifford said "I think she's going to be remembered as a young girl who has, and who will, save an awful lot of lives." "She was a very, very brave girl and she faced her death in the way she faced her whole life - full on, with a lot of courage," he said.
The star, who spent most of her adult life in the media glare, breathed her last away from the flashlights despite an earlier announcement that she might let her death be captured on camera. Clifford said he hoped Goody's family would be left in peace to grieve while adding that it was "ironic" that the young mother died on Mother's Day.
Harpal Kumar, UK's Cancer Research chief executive, said, "We are very sad to hear of Jade's death and our thoughts are with her family and friends at this devastating time.
"Her brave battle with an aggressive form of cervical cancer has received widespread public attention and encouraged thousands of women to seek advice on how to prevent the disease," Kumar added.
The dental nurse, who shot to fame as a Big Brother contestant in 2002, has left a financially secure future to her two sons by selling her struggle with cancer to the media. Goody earned international notoriety after racially abusing Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty in the celebrity edition of "Big Brother" in 2007. The star later made-up with Shetty and even agreed to appear on the Indian version of the show "Bigg Boss" hosted by the Bollywood actress.
But ironically, Goody was forced to leave the show after learning about her disease in August 2008. She flew back to Britain to receive treatment.
However, in February this year, the star was told that her cancer had become terminal and had spread throughout the body. Goody became a national hero in Britain for creating public awareness about cervical cancer throughout her battle with the disease.
After learning that she had only months to live, Goody decided to get married to longtime boyfriend Jack Tweed in a lavish wedding which earned her a million pounds through the sale of coverage rights.
She was christened with her sons this month in a hope to become guardian angel to them after her death. On Tuesday, her publishers revealed she would also be publishing a diary of her dying days.
The money that Goody earned through media coverage of marriage, book rights and the documentary on her last days, will go to her two sons. A percentage of the profits will also go towards a cancer charity.
The star had already planned her funeral and had told her family members to make it a "celebration" of her life. Goody had expressed her desire to have a traditional burial at the local church close to her home. "The funeral will be a celebration of Jade's life, a reflection of how she's lived in the last seven years--full on.
"There will be tears, but a lot of love and laughter as well," Clifford said.