Tyson Fury’s devoted wife today tells how she bravely hid her baby heartbreak to protect the troubled boxer hours before he made his comeback.
Paris, 28, suffered a miscarriage on the morning of her husband’s victory against Albanian Sefer Seferi in June.
The urge to tell her man of their loss must have been overwhelming.
But devastated Paris knew that the news could break him just as he was winning another important fight in his life – against suicidal mental health torment .
“I was about eight weeks pregnant,” she says. “Then on the day of the fight I knew I’d lost our baby.
“I didn’t mention it to Tyson before he went in the ring. Then straight after it I told him and the next day we went to the hospital and it was confirmed.”
But the couple, who already have four children, were soon to find comfort in their grief.
“Five weeks later we fell pregnant again – and now our new baby, a boy, is due in March. We were still heartbroken over our loss, but overjoyed at the same time.”
Five months on, millions of fans were thrilled last weekend as 6ft 9in Fury continued his comeback, beating the count during his LA fight with world heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder to earn a draw. Many experts claimed Fury should have won.
But Paris wasn’t surprised. She has seen first hand how her husband has fought hard in and out of the ring.
And today she tells the inside story on his two years of hell before being formally diagnosed with mental illness. Two years of depression, boozing, drugs and suicidal thoughts that left him on the ropes.
Mum-of four Paris dealt with it daily. And came close to walking out.
“But then I thought, ‘do you bail on someone you love? Do you let them deal with it themselves and let them crash and burn?’
“Tyson never quit on me and the children, and we didn’t quit on him.
“We’re together and we’re going through it together as a team.”
Paris chose to speak to the Sunday Mirror because of our award-winning Time to Change mental health campaign.
She traces the beginnings of his problems back to his victory over Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 when he won all three world heavyweight titles.
“After that he was almost instantly depressed. I could see the next day something wasn’t right. He wasn’t talking like he is now, a normal happy person.
“It was like he was finished. He had completed boxing and it was over. He was saying ‘I’m never gonna top this’. The drive wasn’t there any more. Something else had taken over.”
Bewildered Tyson turned to booze and, at times, Class-A drugs.
Paris says: “At first he was still celebrating and we’d go out together. Then he started going out on his own.
“He’d come back and say, ‘Oh what’s the point? It doesn’t mean anything. No one appreciates it.’
“He’d started saying he was depressed and ‘What’s the point in life?’ I told him, ‘The point to life is to get up and live and enjoy it’. But nothing was ever enough.”
As Tyson’s illness got worse his weight soared to 28 stone. “He didn’t even want to get up in the morning, go for a jog or go out as a family,” she says. “He was never happy.
“The times he was staying out got later – 1am, 2am, 3am – then he’d come home upset and depressed – and as things got worse, in tears.
“He was in severe depression. He didn’t see the point in living.
“I’d say, ‘You’ve got children to live for. You’ve got us to live for’ and he’d say, ‘But I just don’t want to live’.
“It got to the stage where me, his dad and his brothers would be calling each other saying, ‘Is he healthy today?’ We were basically on suicide watch.”
Then Tyson turned to drugs. “I had no idea he was on them at the time,” Paris says. “He regrets it now, but it was something he did in a dark space.
“To everyone else things didn’t seem as bad. He would hide it from the outside world and the kids. He’d put on a smile for them,
“But I saw it and heard it on a daily basis. I was there when he cried, screamed and shouted.”
As their relationship became more strained, Paris, also from a traveller family in Doncaster, South Yorks, edged closer and closer to walking out of their £500,000 home in Morecambe, Lancs.
She says: “I was saying to friends and family, ‘I can’t stop what he’s doing’. But I was worried what would happen if I left. If you’re there for each other it has to be better than going through it alone.”
Paris believes the turning point came after Tyson came within seconds of deliberately crashing his Ferrari in October last year. She says: “He came home all teared up and told me he was seriously going to ram the car off the road. I felt hurt for him, but I wasn’t shocked.
“I think there were a few times he felt that way. I said to him, ‘It’s not acceptable to do something like that’.
“He was very upset and crying, but everything seemed to start to lift from there. I think it had come to the point where he had to make a choice.”
Days later – on Halloween – the star suddenly decided to quit boozing and declared he was returning to the ring.
“That night he’d gone out drinking in a skeleton costume,” says Paris. “But he came back home early at about 10pm and said, ‘I don’t want to do that any more. I don’t want to be out there. I was walking around that bar feeling a fool’.
“Then he went upstairs, took the costume off and said ‘I’m not drinking any more. I’m going to start boxing again’. And he did.”
Tyson started training full-time and the couple’s fourth child Valencia was born on December 4 last year – joining Venezuela, 9, Prince John James, 7, and two-year-old Prince Tyson Luke.
“It was really hard for him to get back to fitness,” says Paris. “The first time he went for a run he came back and said, ‘I can’t run at all, I can barely walk’. I watched him train and lose the weight. It’s amazing what he’s done.”
Tyson finally found the courage to seek help from doctors and find the root cause of his problems.
Paris says: “They sent him for counselling. He went by himself but he would come back and talk to me about it. He was prescribed anti-depressants but never took them. The important thing was being diagnosed. I’d advise anyone to do the same.
“Now he speaks out about his mental health. He’s told me, ‘If I can help one person I’ll be happy. I don’t want anyone to go through what I have’.”
“He had two years in the gutter, fighting himself. Now he’s defied the odds again.”
Recalling last weekend’s epic fight she says: “It was the worst experience ever. I’ve seen Tyson go down in a couple of his previous fights, but normally he’s straight back up.
“This was the first time it seemed he was staying down, but he beat the count and charged straight in. I went to the dressing room afterwards and hugged him, saying ‘Don’t let go of me just for a minute’.
And now, Paris hopes, Tyson has also beaten the count in his mind for good. “I’m just so happy to see him back doing what he does,” she says. “I’ve got my husband back.”