‘I do feel quite sorry for Harry for what he’s had to go through!’ Joe Swash says court battle with his ex over their son was the ‘best money’ he’s ever spent
They dated between 2005 and 2008, and were even engaged before their split.
And in a new interview, Joe Swash, 38, has said the court battle with his ex Emma Sophocleous, 35, over their son Harry, 13, was the ‘best money’ he’s ever spent, but admitted to feeling ‘quite sorry for Hal for what he’s had to go through!’
Speaking on the podcast, Step Life which is about navigating living in a stepfamily, the soap star also discussed becoming a blended family with girlfriend Stacey Solomon, 30, with whom he shares son Rex, 15 months.
Candid ! In a new interview, Joe Swash, 38, has said the court battle with his ex Emma Sophocleous, 35, over their son Harry, 13, was the ‘best money’ he’s ever spent
Joe spoke candidly about the difficulty of how his split from Emma impacted their son. He explained: ‘With me and Harry it was tricky with his mum.
‘We had to go to court and stuff like that. So in hindsight is it’s a great thing, but yeah, me and Hal, it’s been a strange one for Hal, he’s had to do a lot of adapting. I do feel quite sorry for Hal for what he’s had to go through.
‘It’s just one of those things, his mum and I weren’t agreeing on certain things and we had to go to court. We had to do it that way. And that’s what courts there for to sort things out. And it done exactly that. It’s changed our lives.
‘Me and Hal, we’re in each other’s lives on a daily basis now. We talk to each other every day, we see each other every couple of days, he only lives 20 minutes away from me and at the beginning, maybe even five years ago, it’s completely different to what it is now.’
Honest: The soap star also admitted to feeling ‘quite sorry for Hal for what he’s had to go through!’ as he talked about the impact of their separation on their son Harry
Offering advice to parents in a similar situation, Joe added: ‘If anyone’s going through anything like that, having trouble seeing their kids as well, you just got to stick with it.
‘You know, I always said to my mum, when I was in court fighting for Hal, I wouldn’t want to spend my money on anything else apart from wanting to see my kid. And it’s the best money I’ve ever spent.’
Stacey and Joe started dating in 2016 and moved in together at the end of 2018 before having their first baby together in May last year.
The former X Factor star also has children Zachary, 12, with her ex Dean Cox, and Leighton, eight, with her ex Aaron Barham.
Blended family: Stacey and Joe started dating in 2016 and moved in together at the end of 2018 before having their first baby together in May last year
Speaking of their set-up Joe explained: ‘We couldn’t be more blended if you tried. And like you said, it is tricky. It’s not straightforward.
‘There’s lot of people to take into consideration. Some of them people might not be as reasonable as other people, you know, so it’s a constant one field of trying to juggle and keep all the parties happy.’
Discussing how his eldest son Harry has adapted to Joe’s new life with Stacey and her children, Joe explained: ‘It’s one of those things really had to build.
‘I think initially at the beginning, because my Harry’s 13 years old and Zach is 12 and Leighton is eight.
‘I think my Hal got a little bit jealous because he thought, my dad’s with these kids all the time and he only sees me at the weekends.’
Father and son: The soap actor detailed how he worked hard to instil in Harry that he had nothing to be worried about after he moved in with Stacey and her sons
The soap actor detailed how he worked hard to instil in Harry that he had nothing to be worried about after he moved in with Stacey and her sons.
He said: ‘It took him a while to understand that this is not, it wasn’t because of that, this is just the situation, you know, I love you and I want to be with you as much as I possibly can.
‘It was really reinstalling in him, you know, you’re my number one, I love you to pieces. Please don’t think I am moving on and having a life without you. We want you to be part of this every single day, but that was the first hurdle.’
Loving life: The former Dancing On Ice winner explained that now everyone has realised there’s ‘no threat,’ their boys couldn’t be happier
The former Dancing On Ice winner explained that now everyone has realised there’s ‘no threat,’ their boys couldn’t be happier.
He said: ‘And then after they got over that initial hurdle, that they’re not a threat, they’re not going to affect how me you are, then he could really sort of accept it and he sort of embraced it and they now get on really well.
‘They will argue, they’ll get on, Harry and Leighton they want to move in bedrooms together, watching them two, is like watching the film step brothers. They run round, like, can we build a bunk bed!’
Protective father: The actor also opened up about shielding their children from anything that goes on in the background between all of their parents
The actor also opened up about shielding their children from anything that goes on in the background between all of their parents.
He said: ‘The thing is they shouldn’t know any of that stuff because none of this stuff is their fault. You know, it’s not their fault that I’m not with Harry’s mum.
‘It’s not the kid’s fault. You know, it’s something that we’ve done. It was decisions we made. So none of this is their fault. So as long as we remember that and go, right, this is what we do.
‘This is okay. It’s okay. And again, me and Stacey, we row all the time, that’s all part of it. As long as fundamentally we’re on the same page that’s how it works.’
A case of the ex: The former X Factor star has son Zachary, 12, with her ex Dean Cox (pictured)
Baby daddy: Stacey also shares son Leighton, eight, with her ex Aaron Barham (pictured together in 2012)
Thinking about the situation pragmatically, Joe said: ‘You know, sometimes it falls apart at the seams really quickly and before you know it two or three people are not happy and you know, it’s, it’s difficult.
‘But you’ve just got to remember that you get through that stage and you have all the major magic moments when you’re on holiday with the kids or like now when he’s [Rex] sitting on my lap.
‘You know, stuff like that, you can’t buy it. No matter how much fame you can get. You can’t buy the love of your child. You know, that is just something that’s so special.’
Dancing on Ice champion, Joe is fronting a new campaign designed to teach children about rail safety.
The Stay Safe with Thomas campaign, launched by Network Rail and Thomas & Friends™, is designed to give parents the tools to educate their children about how to keep safe when travelling on the railway.
Doing his bit! Dancing on Ice champion, Joe is fronting a new campaign designed to teach children about rail safety
Network Rail and Thomas & Friends have worked together to create the Stay Safe with Thomas book to help parents approach the topic with their children from a young age.
In the story, a mischievous Thomas learns that being safe is more important than being silly and learns valuable lessons on the dangers of misusing the railway.
As part of the campaign, Joe is featured in a short film reading the Stay Safe with Thomas story. Parents can use the film as an engaging way of approaching the subject of rail safety with their children.
Father to two children and two stepchildren, Joe admitted that rail safety is not a topic he has explored much, but since joining the campaign he has begun having conversations about the subject with his own children.
Brilliant! Network Rail and Thomas & Friends have worked together to create the Stay Safe with Thomas book to help parents approach the topic with their children from a young age
‘Rail safety is something I knew Stacey and I should talk to the kids about, but we thought it was something they might learn at school when they are a bit older.
‘We had talked about being careful when out near the road, but even though we use the railways often, we didn’t really know where to start and we didn’t want to scare them.
‘Our kids love Thomas the Tank Engine and when we read the book, they loved it. The activities at the end got them thinking too and it was such a gentle way to get the message across.’
The campaign forms part of Network Rail’s commitment to helping parents educate their children about staying safe when travelling on or around the railway.
Presented by Rachel Silver, a mum and stepmum, Step Life is available on most podcast platforms including Apple podcasts, Acast and Spotify.
For more information go to www.steplife.co.uk or follow @steplifesupport on Instagram.
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