EXCLUSIVE: Jermaine Jenas tells of his heartache over his daughter, 15, growing up in the US – as he reveals his marriage was on the brink before emotional heart-to-heart with his wife
Jermaine Jenas has revealed his heartache over his eldest daughter being raised in America as he continues to co-parent with his ex-partner who now lives overseas.
The One Show host, 40, told MailOnline it’s ‘tough’ for both him and his teenage daughter, Sancha, 15, who’s been living in the States since she was seven after her mum emigrated.
In an exclusive interview, the father-of-four, who also shares children Geneva, nine, Olivia, six, and 18-month-old Jacob with wife of 15-years Ellie, explained that while Sancha no longer lives with him full-time, she visits during the holidays and his young family adore when they’re reunited with their sister.
However, Nottingham-born Jermaine says he’s had trouble ensuring that Sancha retains her British accent after, to his annoyance, she came home as a youngster asking for a ‘popsicle’ and ‘soda.’
Jermaine said: ‘It was a tough one for me and a tough one for my daughter, but I didn’t want to get in the way of my ex moving on with her life.
Jermaine Jenas has revealed his heartache over his eldest daughter being raised in America as he continues to co-parent with his ex-partner who now lives overseas
Jermaine, who also shares Geneva, Olivia, and 18-month-old Jacob with wife of 15-years Ellie, explained that while Sancha no longer lives with him full-time, she visits during the holidays
After welcoming their son Jacob in October 2021, the former England International insists him and wife Ellie are ‘done’ with having anymore children
‘My eldest is 15 and she’s from the first relationship I had and lives in America now with her mum.
‘She was here until she was seven and then her mum decided that she wanted to go and live in the States because she met a guy from America, and they got married and had a family.
‘We came to the decision to co-parent in the best way we possibly could, but she comes over every summer and I have her for a good 8-9 weeks and she comes over at Christmas as well.
‘She is due over any minute and we all can’t wait in the house. Every year she comes home she’s different, I’m dealing with a 15-year-old and it’s like oh God, but it’s loads of fun.
‘She’s the big sister and the fun one who knows how to do TikTok’s and when it comes to Jacob my baby, she’s basically a babysitter.
‘She picks him up and walks around the house with him on her hip, it is crazy for me because she was a baby and I watched her crawl around the same house that I’m in now and she’s picking up my son and I’m like, that’s your brother, I can’t get my head around it… it’s all gone so fast.’
Despite the distance between them, Jermaine’s daughter is following in his footsteps after the former Spurs and Newcastle ace revealed she’s playing soccer, American football and is a keen athlete.
He added: ‘She’s a really good student, she just came off a big track meet in America where she came 2nd in the 200 metres in her State. She is a proper athlete, gym crazy, does back flips left right and centre, she plays football, so soccer, American football as well and she does track.
The One Show host says his young family can’t wait for his eldest daughter, who he shares with a previous partner, to come home from America for the summer holiday
Jermaine, pictured with son Jacob, has been married to former model Ellie since 2011 and admits their relationship hasn’t always been easy
He says once he joined The One Show in 2020 and started attending events and interviewing A-list stars that Ellie struggled at home as she continued looking after their three children
‘She has an American accent until I knock it out of her every time she comes over. It was worse when she was younger, she used to turn up and say “daddy, can I have a popsicle?”
‘And I used to just ignore her and say “what did you want? What’s another word for that?” And she’ll say, “ice cream or ice-lolly” and I’ll say “okay, go and get one.” And then she’ll say, “daddy can I have a soda?” She’s too old now for me to crack the same jokes now!’
After welcoming son Jacob in October 2021, the former England International insists him and wife Ellie are ‘done’ with having anymore children and they’re now keen to work on building back their lives outside of being parents.
He said: ‘There are no more children. People always told me you’re done when your Mrs. is done. When we had Olivia, we kind of got our lives back but Ellie said she really wanted to give it one more go at having a boy.
‘I was like ‘here we go’ but we went through it and got our little boy and the minute he arrived she said, “we’re never doing this again” and I was like ‘sound!’ We’re both on the same page.’
Jermaine has been married to former model Ellie since 2011 and admits their relationship hasn’t always been easy.
The TV host says once he retired from professional football in 2016 and started to present The One Show four years later, his wife struggled with his new ‘glitzy’ lifestyle interviewing A-list stars and attending events while she stayed at home looking after their children.
He also confessed to socialising with friends after filming the live BBC One show in London, which caused arguments and resentment between him and Ellie.
It wasn’t until the couple confronted their issues head-on and begun to communicate, even allowing each other the space to holiday separately, that they got their relationship back on track.
Jermaine said: ‘I would say up until about five years ago it was quite stressful for us both.
Jermaine has interviewed a host of stars including comedian Rebel Wilson, actress Jennifer Aniston, and Oscar winner Tom Hanks
Jermaine, pictured with guest Sir Trevor McDonald, has co-presented The One Show for the past two years alongside Alex Jones
‘There was a lot of competing going on in our relationship and a lot of ‘you get to do this’ or ‘you don’t do this.’
‘It was a lot to do with the kids and the fact that I had this new career starting and I was out and about and meeting new people and going to shows… it was all glitzy but for my wife it was like nappies, milk… I am a very hands-on dad and I’m always trying to help but still she wasn’t getting that fulfilment in her own life.
‘I had to address it and over the last five years I always say to her once or twice or year just go away for three days or something.
‘In the summer and coming up now she will usual go to Ibiza with her mates and have a good blowout and that’s for her not to have to wake up or think about the kids, and I’ve just come back from Scotland playing three days of golf and she will say the same to me, go and play golf, relax, enjoy yourself.’
He says the secret to salvaging their marriage was learning to communicate ‘before the crisis hit’ and now the couple resist ‘game playing’ in favour of a peaceful household.
Jermaine added: ‘There was a lot of waiting before, we would wait and wait and neither of us knew what was wrong and then that escalated into the biggest argument ever.
‘We decided to start having a conversation whenever we felt anything. She would say, “Jermaine, I feel like I’m not seeing you enough” or “I feel like I’m doing too much around the house, I’m not getting my life back enough” and just getting there before the crisis hit.
‘We are 15 years deep into our relationship and there isn’t anything we won’t talk about whatever the frustration may be, we will have that conversation but that has only happened in time. It actually came from being sick of arguing.
‘When you’re in those types of arguments where you’re like, I don’t know why we’re arguing but I’m actually bored of it, and this is a really easy fix. This is my problem and can you help, more of that mentality rather than the game-playing and the mind games.
‘Plus, my social life has settled down so much. There was a point where I might finish work and meet some mates in London and get in at like 11pm and she would do the school run and then I’d do it again two days later and all of a sudden in her mind she is thinking I’m just going out and taking the mick. My life is a bit simpler as well, which helped.’
As well as hosting The One Show and making his presenting debut on Match of the Day 2 on Sunday, Jermaine has also dipped his toe in the fashion world, modelling his new line with activewear brand Dare 2b
The line features a range of sports clothing and athleisure, which Jermaine says is perfect to wear not only in the gym but also while doing the school run
As the images show, Jermaine felt comfortable in front of the camera shooting his range, which includes lace up hoodies, light-wear sports tops, and joggers
As well as hosting The One Show and making his presenting debut on Match of the Day 2 on Sunday, Jermaine has also dipped his toe in the fashion world, modelling his new collection with activewear brand Dare 2b.
The line features a range of sports clothing and athleisure, which Jermaine says is perfect to wear not only in the gym but also while doing the school run.
He said: ‘Initially, when Dare 2b got in touch and wanted to do a collaboration with me I was delighted. I’ve always thought about doing something like this.
‘Personally, there’s nothing more annoying than waking up, going on the school run, coming home and getting dressed again to go to the gym.
‘I was trying to create the life I live. I wear gym gear but joggers and whatever the weather if it’s leg day I’ll wear my shorts with a hoodie and I take the kids to school and hit the gym. Whatever I’m wearing, as long as it’s comfortable, it fits, and is stylish… those are the three benchmarks for me.
‘With Dare 2b it ticks all of those boxes, people can wear it for comfort, workout, but equally if they’re just nipping here or there then you get that stylish feel as well.’
And as the images show, Jermaine felt comfortable in front of the camera shooting his range, which includes lace up hoodies, light-wear sports tops, and joggers, adding: ‘You’ve just got to be able to relax and be a bit silly.
‘There are cameras everywhere and everyone’s trying to get that shot. I have learned to manage that whole environment. I love doing shoots and it breaks things up for me, it’s something totally different.’
- Jermaine’s edit with activewear brand Dare 2b is available now at www.dare2b.com
The ex-footballer says his three ‘benchmarks’ when searching for the right gym wear is that the clothing is stylish, fits, and is comfortable, of which he insists he range ticks all the boxes
The former Spurs and Newcastle ace’s edit with fitness brand Dare 2b is available to buy online now
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