Jamie Dornan reveals he was 'a mess' after the death of his mum and four friends when he was just 16

JAMIE Dornan has revealed how he was left "a mess" after his mum's death from cancer when he was 16, explaining how even a whiff of her perfume would force him to flee the room.

The Fifty Shades actor said that Lorna's death from pancreatic cancer aged 50 was swiftly followed by another tragedy – when four of his friends were killed in a car accident.

Speaking to The Times, Jamie explained how his dad gave him the bad news about his mother when he was 14 after a rugby match, telling him: "She's not going to make it."

The 37-year-old star explained: "I burst into tears immediately. I was so angry and confused. My mind was swirling."

He added: "I could easily have gone off the rails if it were not for my family. I was a mess, especially after reading the letter that she had left for us kids.

"Not long after, four of my friends tragically died in a car accident. I was really angry and became very depressed, although I didn't realise it at the time.

Jamie added that he had therapy aged 17, calling it "cathartic" and explaining: "I felt like a weight had been lifted from me."

However, grief continued to hit Jamie, who found fame in BBC drama The Fall, "in waves" for years to come.

He said: "The weirdest thing would set it off. Like when the wife of my best friend was wearing a particular perfume that had been my mum's favourite.

"I had to excuse myself for a private moment to compose myself."

The dad of three added: "Remembering the good times, the funny times, is massive in your recovery. Hope is important too.

"You never really get over your grief, you just find a way to live with it and not let it overshadow everything."

Jamie first appeared on TV in 2001, in Channel 4's reality show Model Behaviour, which helped him land a contract that saw him modelling for Ambercrombie & Fitch and Calvin Klein.

In 2011, he was in nine episodes of US fantasy hit Once Upon a Time, as Sheriff Graham before starring in The Fall as serial killer Paul Spector, shot in his native Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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