U.K.'s Reality TV Star Jade Goody Battles Cancer and Gets Married on Camera

U.K. "Big Brother" star Jade Goody faces cancer in front of the cameras.

ByABC News
February 20, 2009, 7:39 AM

LONDON, Feb. 20, 2009 — -- She is the ultimate reality TV star -- a household name in Britain and India -- who rocketed to stardom and then to infamy for her race-baiting on-camera clashes with Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty.

But now Jade Goody could be the first celebrity to die in the glare of television cameras as she battles cervical cancer while preparing to get married, on TV, of course.

Her publicist, Max Clifford, denied the death scenanio reports in an interview with ABC News, saying, "She definitely won't be dying on camera, despite what the media are saying."

Regardless of whether cameras capture her last moments, it will be a sad, and yet somewhat apt ending to the short life of a woman, who is, in the words of her publicist, a "living 'Truman Show.'"

The 27-year-old Goody first came to public attention when she participated in the U.K. reality TV show "Big Brother" in 2002.

Goody was among 10 contestants incarcerated in the "Big Brother" house until she was evicted, finishing in fourth place. Despite not winning, Goody became the show's unlikely star.

Her every antic was filmed, every comment recorded during her stint in the house: Viewers watched her make out with one of her housemates, PJ Ellis, and wonder out loud what asparagus was and if the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro was a person.

Despite her being voted off the show, Goody was already famous throughout Britain. She went on to establish a close relationship with the tabloid press, feeding it tidbits of her latest relationship, her battles with weight gain and tales of her nightmarish childhood reportedly in exchange for ever-increasing fees.

She released exercise DVDs, launched her own fragrance called Shh, opened a beauty salon, published an autobiography and became a reality TV staple, appearing on shows like "What Jade Did Next," "Jade's Salon" and "Just Jade."

But it was her appearance on the spinoff show "Celebrity Big Brother," in January 2007, that vaulted her back into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

On the show, Goody came to blows with Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, and what followed was a series of rows -- all captured on camera-- in which Goody repeatedly attacked Shetty's Indian origins, telling her at one point to "go back to the slums."

The reality TV star went from being idolized by millions to becoming the most-hated woman in Britain.

She apologized in public for her comments about Shetty, but to no avail. Newspaper columnists flayed her behavior, and Channel Four, the broadcaster behind "Celebrity Big Brother" received a record 45,000 complaints.

Clifford, who was not her publicist at the time, went on record saying her future looked bleak.

And it did, when the Perfume Shop -- a nationwide chain of stores -- withdrew her formerly bestselling fragrance from the shelves.