The Loose Women panelists had a pretty tricky day yesterday. It seemed that nothing was going in their favour as they were hit by technical problems during perhaps one of the show’s most sensitive discussions yet.
Andrea Mclean, Katie Price, Janet Street Porter and Stacey Soloman were joined by author Kathy Lette. Lette was discussing the fact that she has openly admitted she considered hiring a prostitute for her autistic son so he could have the experience of having “someone to be intimate with”.
The mother and son joined the panellists to discuss why Kathy considered it and how Jules felt about the situation. Kathy spoke about the difficulties disabled people face when trying to find someone to be intimate with. She said Jules “often finds himself exiled into Social Siberia”.
When asked how Jules would have felt if his mum had gone through with it he replied, “I would have thought about it. There’s parts of it I would have enjoyed probably.”
The discussion prompted Loose Women panellist Katie Price to confess that she also has considered something similar for her son, Harvey. The 39-year-old admitted that she had discussed with her husband Kieran Hayler whether it would be a good idea to hire an escort for Harvey’s 18th birthday.
Harvey also suffers from autism and Katie said, “My son Harvey has autism, and he’s just hit puberty, and it’s obviously natural to experiment with yourself during puberty… I’m like, ‘Is it fair to let him go without?'”
She added, “Kieran joked and said maybe we should get him a prostitute when he’s 18, and I said, ‘But that’s my little Harvey and I don’t want to do that!’ But do you wait and let him experience it for himself?”
Before viewers could catch the rest of the conversation the show cut away to a screen which said: “Sorry we’re experiencing technical difficulties”.
The sensitive discussion divided viewers watching at home. Katie received a lot of criticism online for her comments but some were able to sympathise with her and Kathy’s thought process. One viewer said, “I agree with hiring a prostitute for disabled people, I will be doing the same for my nephew at 18. Why should they miss out.” Another added, “Totally agree, would do the same if that’s what they wanted.”
However, one critic slammed Katie for her comments and said it should be Harvey’s choice. They wrote,”What on earth, Harvey may have normal urges, but may not understand the concept of sex, bloody woman has no sense !!!!” Another said: “Excuse me?!? Disabled or not surely that’s up to him if he wants a hooker or not!”
When the show finally re-started Andrea said: “Sorry, we seem to have lost that interview. We pre-recorded it just before.” She confirmed that the full interview would be available to watch on the Loose Women website.