FORMER glamour model Linda Lusardi says she fears for women using controversial adult website OnlyFans – saying it “feels weird”.
She made her name as one of the country’s most popular glamour models, but Linda says she would have drawn the line at setting herself up on the subscription site.
She has real fears about the website and worries some women posting content on it could end up out of their depth.
Linda, 63, says: “It’s not something I would entertain. I know that a lot of people are making a lot of money, but it just feels weird to me.
"Because it isn’t ‘only’ for the fans, is it? People can screenshot or film you and then it’s out there to haunt you for the rest of your life.
“What if your life moves in a different direction? I think sometimes the girls haven’t thought about when they have children, who might well see their mother in a situation she later regrets.
“Even if you’re not in a relationship, it could affect you when you meet someone. What if they have friends or family who have ‘tuned into’ you in the past? It feels a bit underhand.”
Hollyoaks star Sarah Jayne Dunn, 40, lost her job at the soap after launching her OnlyFans page – earning £121,000 in 48 hours – as she failed to come to an agreement with bosses who wanted her to remove it.
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Linda is the first to acknowledge she started out as a topless model and says Page 3 might be seen as the “Eighties equivalent” of OnlyFans, which has more than a million “creators” providing paid-for content to 50million people.
She says: “Maybe it’s a bit hypocritical of me and earning a living is fine, but what if someone got obsessed with you or found out where you lived?
“If they’re talking to them personally on there, I feel that would be a risk.”
Despite having been a staunch defender of tabloid institution Page 3, Linda believes the world has moved on.
She says: “I don’t think it fits in today’s society at all.
“I was young and enjoying life and it was a very different time. It was everywhere. It was a great career and I am where I am now because of it.
“I did lots of work with my clothes on as well, mind, but I know that everyone knows me for what went in the papers.
“I found acting late in life, though, and I may have made a career from it if I’d come to it earlier.
“If I could speak to my 20-year-old self, I’d say: ‘Don’t take your clothes off – become an actress instead.’”
Linda’s career has spanned five decades and has long since transcended Page 3 into acting, presenting and reality TV.
'CRUEL AND RELENTLESS'
As well as competing in Dancing On Ice and Celebrity MasterChef, she has appeared in The Bill, Hollyoaks and Emmerdale.
She’s also a panto veteran – this year appearing at the Whitley Bay Playhouse, where she’ll play the Wicked Queen in Snow White alongside daughter Lucy Kane, 25, for what will be her 32nd stint.
It marks her return to the stage, having survived a “cruel and relentless” battle with Covid during the first wave last March, which put her in hospital for ten days at “death’s door”.
Her former Brookside star husband Sam Kane, 53, was also struck down and needed hospital treatment. At one point, Lucy and younger brother Jack, 23, feared they would lose both parents.
Linda has said previously that her children have had therapy to help them come to terms with what happened. She is encouraging Sam to have some, too.
Linda says: “Sam was getting better while I was getting worse, and he has these flashbacks because he nearly lost me.
"He’s so grateful that I’m still here and he thinks he’s coping all right, but I do think he should see someone about it.
“We all got through it and we try to not dwell on it. The thought of what could have happened is too much.”
Linda adds: “I appreciate things more now, especially the fact I’m still here. I think twice about going to crowded places. I’ve been for meals, but not concerts. I’m cautious.”
Linda, who met Sam in Darlington doing panto in 1994, was initially reluctant to go from friendship to romance after her split from first husband, builder Terry Bailey.
She says: “We were friends for quite a while before we got together. My marriage had just broken up and the age difference worried me, although it didn’t seem to worry Sam.
And, as it turns out, 20-odd years later it’s never been an issue.
“We have the same sense of humour – if you can’t laugh together then you’ll have problems. It’s not just about loving each other; you have to like each other as well.
“We’re happiest when we’re together 24 hours a day. He’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Having suffered terribly with the menopause before being given HRT ten years ago, Linda has been a passionate supporter of Fabulous’ Menopause Matters campaign, which aims to make the treatment free for all women through the NHS.
We are also pushing for menopause policies to be mandatory in every workplace, as well as busting the taboos around the subject.
Linda says: “My mum never talked about menopause. I assumed it just meant your periods stopped, so I was quite looking forward to that.
'I'M NOT PERFECT'
“I didn’t know I’d have a year of not feeling like me and being depressed. I remember doing panto and I kept forgetting my lines. My brain wasn’t right.
“It affected every part of my body. I tried patches and herbal remedies but, in the end, it was my sister-in-law who told me to go to the doctor and get HRT.
“I wish I’d gone sooner because within two weeks of starting it, I felt like me again.”
Blessed with great skin, Linda looks decades younger than her 63 years. She says: “You’ve just got to make the best of yourself.
"I have had a few non-invasive treatments, but the main thing is everything in moderation.
“I eat well and I don’t drink an awful lot of alcohol. I try to keep my weight down because I think that can be ageing.”
She aims to maintain a trim 8st 10lbs but admits it’s harder work to keep the pounds off as the years go by. She says: “Your weight goes on in different places when you’re older, unfortunately.
“I went to nine and a half stone during lockdown, but I made a conscious effort to lose that in time for panto. I have a personal trainer who puts me through my paces on Zoom once a week.
“I know I can’t expect too much from my body at 63 and I’m not perfect by any means. I have cellulite, just like every normal woman.
“And that’s fine, as long as I can put my clothes on and feel like I’m the best I can be for me. I’m not expecting to look 20 anymore.”
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