Jackie Collins' daughters on mother's secret six-year cancer battle

Jackie Collins’ daughters say their mother ‘knew she had made a mistake when she didn’t get cancer diagnosed until it was too late’ – but she refused to let secret six-year battle ‘define her’

  • Jackie Collins’ daughters Tracy and Tiffany Lerman appeared on Loose Women
  • They spoke candidly about their ‘strong’ mother and her secret cancer battle
  • Said she ‘knew she had made a mistake’ when she didn’t get diagnosed with cancer ‘until it was too late’

Jackie Collins’ daughters have revealed how their mother ‘knew she had made a mistake’ when she didn’t get diagnosed with cancer ‘until it was too late’ – but she refused to let secret six-year battle ‘define her’.

Tracy Lerman, 59, and Tiffany Lerman, 54, spoke candidly about their ‘strong’ mother as well as the pain of losing her during an appearance on Loose Women today.

British author Jackie tragically passed away in September 2015 just two weeks before her 78th birthday, after a private six-and-a-half year struggle with breast cancer.

A new film is now set to delve into the novelist’s triumphs and private traumas, which her closest friends say were masked behind her glitzy showbusiness personality. 

Tracy Lerman, 59, and Tiffany Lerman, 54, (pictured) spoke candidly about their ‘strong’ mother as well as the pain of losing her during an appearance on Loose Women today

Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story promises to take viewers on an immersive journey through the trailblazing life of the famous writer, whose books sold more than 500million copies and have been translated into 40 languages. 

Appearing on the ITV programme to talk about the new movie, daughters Tracy and Tiffany opened up about their mother’s decision to keep her cancer diagnosis almost entirely to herself.

Tiffany said: ‘She had trauma after trauma in her life, she’d picked herself up and she’d kept on going. And she was very doctor-phobic, so for her, she just didn’t want to go there. 

‘She didn’t want to come to terms with the fact that she could’ve been sick, [but] she knew she had made a mistake when she did’t get diagnosed until it was too late, but there was nothing she could do. 

British author Jackie (pictured with her sister Dame Joan Collins in 2013) tragically passed away in September 2015 just two weeks before her 78th birthday, after a private six-and-a-half year struggle with breast cancer

‘So she took that, and she ran with it. She lived an incredible life those six years, you know she did not let the cancer define her, she wrote five books, she travelled around the world, she had parties and she was with her family her entire time. 

‘In the end I think she wanted to get that message across to women, that no matter what comes your way, you know whatever decisions good or bad you make, you can still get through it. 

‘She was so strong, we were so proud of her and we miss her so much,’ the daughter candidly added.

Despite being diagnosed with stage four breast cancer in 2009, Jackie kept her cancer a secret, even from her own sister actress Joan Collins. 

But in a magazine interview given a few weeks before she died, the writer explained why she had kept her illness private from her sister.

Despite being diagnosed with stage four breast cancer in 2009, Jackie kept her cancer a secret, even from her own sister actress Joan Collins. Pictured, Jackie’s daughters on Loose Women

‘I just felt she didn’t need it in her life. She’s very positive and very social but I’m not sure how strong she is, so I didn’t want to burden her with it,’ she told People.

Talking about breaking the news to Jackie a few weeks before she passed away, she said: ‘She had no idea. But she was great. We were emotional.’

Tracy and Tiffany were asked on today’s show about the rumoured rivalry between Jackie and Joan, insisting ‘they were tremendously close’.

Tracy said: ‘Well I think it was not necessarily a rivalry, they were tremendously close at certain points in their life and then distant in others. 

‘There’s no family where you don’t get fed up of your sister at times, but there was a tremendous amount of love between them.’

A stunning young Jackie Collins with her daughters, Tracy, then 10, Tiffany, four, and Rory, two in 1971

 The daughters, who said they grew up with the motto ‘girls can do anything’, recalled how their mother had two different personas, one for the cameras, and one just for her family. Pictured, Tiffany and Jackie in 2004

The daughters, who said they grew up with the motto ‘girls can do anything’, recalled how their mother had two different personas, one for the cameras, and one just for her family.

‘She was Jackie Collins in front of the cameras, working and writing these incredible novels about female empowerment, and [then] also mum at home to us,’ said Tiffany.

‘I think they’re expecting a crazy story from one of her books but she was just down to earth… she’s rock up to school in a Mustang and her fur coat and mums would go “who’s that” and she’d pick us up and then take us home and cook dinner.’

The daughters also praised Jackie’s second husband art gallery and nightclub owner, Oscar Lerman, who died in 1992 from prostate cancer, for being a ‘ultra feminist’ and always supportive and never ‘threatened’ by his wife’s success. 

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