Danielle Mason’s traveller fiancé helped pay for a boob job and lipo to beat her postnatal depression. She shows off the results to this week’s Closer magazine
Controversial glamour model Danielle Mason was never going to be a typical gypsy bride. The 29 year old, who’s half-sister to EastEnders star Jessie Wallace, hit the headlines when she got engaged to traveller boyfriend Tony Giles, 26, and faced resentment from his traditional family because of her “shameful job.” She also raised eyebrows within the gypsy community when she had their son Rudy, now 11 months, out of wedlock last year.
'I know I wasn't big, but I'd always prided myself on keeping trim and wasn't happy with what I saw in the mirror'
And now, after becoming depressed about her post-baby body, the model has spent £10,000 on lipo and a boob job.
Showing off her new size 10 figure, covered in pink Swarovski crystals for our American Beauty-themed shoot, she says: “I was a size 14 and 13st when I was pregnant and managed to get to a size 12 and 10st after the birth through exercise. But no matter how much I went to the gym I couldn’t get my flat tummy back. I’d had a Caesarean and my stomach muscles were cut in the op, leaving me with a paunch that refused to go.
“I know I wasn’t big, but I’d always prided myself on keeping trim and wasn’t happy with what I saw in the mirror. My boobs sagged from where I breastfed and my nipples had stretched. I had zero confidence and felt my body had been ruined.”
To get back her toned size 10 pre-baby body, Danielle – who’s 5ft 7 and now weighs 9st – recently had liposuction on her hips and stomach and had breast implants to take her from a D-cup to an F-cup in January.
She adds: “I had the surgery for my self-esteem and to look sexy for Tony. It’s important to look your best for your man. I loved doing the shoot. I feel confident about my body now.”
'My boobs sagged from where I breastfed and my nipples had stretched. I had zero confidence and felt my body had been ruined'
Two years ago, Danielle and cage fighter Tony met at a mutual friend’s house and he asked her on a date to a Chinese restaurant. She recalls: “He knew what I did for a living and was fine with it. But his parents didn’t approve. Tony admitted they’d been saying things about me and he got a lot of stick from his mates, but he took no notice.”
Then, just two months after they met, Danielle fell pregnant. She says: “It was unplanned, but a nice surprise. However, my hormones were all over the place and I didn’t like the way my body changed. My feet, arms and face became really swollen. I felt very insecure.
“I couldn’t really model any more. When I was eight months pregnant, I did a naked photo shoot, like Demi Moore’s, for a mag – but I got a lot of flak from the gypsy community for it.”
Tony proposed on a trip to Thorpe Park in March last year, then in August, Danielle gave birth to Rudy. She had to have an emergency Caesarean because her baby was stuck in the birth canal. Following the difficult labour, Rudy needed to be fed by a tube as he had trouble swallowing. Danielle was bed-bound for a week and became depressed.
She says: “The Caesarean had left me unable to walk or sit up. I felt helpless. I couldn’t see to my child when he was crying and just lay there waiting for help. Every little thing would make me cry.”
And things only got worse when she took Rudy home to the house they rented in Ascot, Berkshire, a week later. “I was a new mum and didn’t know what I was doing,” Danielle says. “I felt isolated and started having panic attacks. I’d suddenly feel claustrophobic – it was horrible.”
Danielle was diagnosed with postnatal depression and given anti-anxiety tablets to help with her attacks. But she still felt down about her body.
“If you’re not happy and can do something to boost your confidence, where’s the harm in it?"
“The stress made me look gaunt in the face, but I still felt fat,” she says. “Tony always told me I was sexy, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t want him touching me because I felt self-conscious.”
So, five months after Rudy was born, Danielle had the surgery, which Tony helped pay for. She explains: “If you’re not happy and can do something to boost your confidence, where’s the harm in it?
“The lipo was the most painful thing, second to giving birth – I’m still recovering. But I’m happy with the results.”
And Danielle reveals she feels accepted by the gypsy community now. She adds: “When Tony and I got engaged, our families were pleased for us. Although having Rudy out of wedlock and modelling isn’t the traditional traveller way, we’re accepted as a family.
“I get a lot of attention from guys and Tony can get jealous. He doesn’t like me wearing revealing tops, but I want to show off my body!”
The couple – who revealed Rudy’s lavish christening on Channel 4’s Big Fat Gypsy Weddings – are now looking forward to their wedding day. They haven’t set a date, but are thinking about getting hitched in Las Vegas. Danielle says: “I wouldn’t have a big gypsy dress. I’d rather have something more stylish and fitted. I’d love to have 10 bridesmaids and Rudy will be best man.”
One person who probably won’t be there is Jessie Wallace. Despite being close when they were young, the girls, who have the same mum, no longer see each other. Danielle says: “I’d love Jessie to meet her nephew, even though things haven’t been good between us. She’s still my sister and I love her.”
And while Danielle wants more kids, she’s happy with one for now. She adds: “We are thinking of buying a caravan, but I couldn’t live in one full time. After a few days, it would just get on my nerves.”
By Nick Harding