British reality TV star Jade Goody married Sunday after being told by doctors last week that her cancer is terminal, UK media have reported.
Goody, 27 tied the knot with boyfriend Jack Tweed, 21, in Hatfield Heath, Essex, east of London, UK media report. After the ceremony Max Clifford, the couple’s publicist, told waiting reporters that there had been “lots of tears and smiles and laughter” and that the congregation gave the newlyweds a standing ovation after the signing of the register. Goody sprung to fame in “Big Brother” in 2002, going on to launch a range of her own products and host TV shows. But her return to the celebrity edition of the show in 2007 ended in international ignominy, after her taunting of Indian Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty. Goody’s behavior resulted in more than 40,000 complaints and sparked protests in India. Shetty said last week that she was unable to attend the wedding due to filming commitments but was praying for Goody. In August 2008 Goody appeared on the Indian version of Big Brother, only to fly home after she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. News of Goody’s condition has sparked massive interest in the UK, both from the media — which has bidded for rights to her story — and among the public, who have contacted charities for information about cervical cancer. Critics have attacked Goody’s decision to sell rights to what may be her final weeks, although the star has told British media that she wants to leave her children by a previous relationship — sons, Bobby, five, and Freddie, four — financially secure. Watch Jade Goody’s wedding preparations » But Clifford told ITN: “Ironically, a big part of what she’s doing now is to fund her children’s education. To give them the education she never had.” Charity Cancer Research UK said in a statement earlier this month that daily visits to its Web site had increased two- to three-fold since news of Goody’s illness was announced.
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“The publicity around Jade’s diagnosis has led many more people to ask questions and seek information about cervical cancer,” spokeswoman Emma Gilgunn-Jones said. Shetty, writing on her blog earlier this week, said that Goody had invited her to the wedding but had been unable to attend due to filming commitments in Kuala Lampur. “Read an article on Jade Goody’s deteriorating condition,” wrote Shetty. “It disturbed me ’cause the last time I spoke to her, she seemed very positive and we were all expecting that the doctors would be able to curb the cancer from spreading. This piece of news came as a shock – so I called her hoping it was only a rumor but she confirmed it. Shetty added that she was praying for Goody and that she hoped God “gives her the strength to cope with this pain.” “She wants the best for her kids,” Shetty wrote. “I hope Jack makes a good father to them. I also hope for a miracle to happen for her children’s sake.” On Friday the UK’s Ministry of Justice said it would allow Tweed, who was jailed in September 2008 for assault, to spend his wedding night with his bride, the Press Association reported. “We are absolutely thrilled,” the agency reported Clifford as saying. “It will be the dream finish to her dream day, and it makes so much difference. Tweed, who was released early from jail in January, has to wear a tag and is subject to a 1900 GMT curfew.
“We’ll get married if I have to drag her wheelchair down the aisle,” he told ITN last week. The wedding dress, which media reports say includes a pouch to hold Goody’s medication, has been donated by Harrods owner Mohamed al Fayed. Goody’s bridesmaids were seen with the TV star Saturday, wearing plastic bald caps in a show of solidarity at the impact of her chemotherapy treatment.