David Ginola’s partner on I’m A Celeb star’s health woes leaving ‘huge gaps in his memory’

I’m A Celeb: David Ginola introduces himself

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Ex-footballer David Ginola’s partner Maëva Denat, 37, has opened up about the medical emergency that messed with his memory, after leaving him technically dead for nine minutes. The star suffered a cardiac arrest after scoring in a charity football game in the French town of Mandelieu-La Napoule in May 2016.

In a recent interview, mum-of-two Maëva revealed that she was introduced to David mere hours before the traumatic incident. 

She said: “We met on the day he died. A mutual friend introduced us at a restaurant in Cannes. 

“It was just after midnight and we talked and had one kiss and then he went to the charity event.”

It was only later in Marseille when a friend called her to tell her what had happened. 

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When David eventually came to, the pair exchanged text messages and agreed to see each other again, but in the early stages of their courtship, the former athlete suffered from depression brought on by the medical emergency and the stress of divorcing his ex-wife. 

“David took me for dinner in Marseilles a few months after he left hospital,” Maëva told The Sun on Sunday. 

“It was like we were meeting for the first time because what happened gave him huge gaps in his memory, so he barely remembered me at all.”

She added: “He was a little bit depressed and having out-of-body experiences and felt so disoriented – he didn’t know where he was.”

However, nothing could stop romance from blooming between the pair and, while she admitted she had no interest in football, the model immediately saw that David was “beautiful, charming and charismatic” and “someone who knows a lot about life”.

“I felt we had a real connection — it was something like love at first sight — and I really wanted to see him again,” she concluded.

When David died for nine minutes following his cardiac arrest in 2016, he only managed to survive because his friend Frederic Mendy performed CPR.

An air ambulance then flew him to a hospital in Monaco, where he underwent a quadruple bypass.

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Following the dramatic incident, Maëva shared how David was “asking himself a lot of questions” after the surgeon told him that it was “a miracle” he had been brought back to life. 

She also described how her partner could get “lost in dark thoughts”, but that he was ultimately “still a fun person to be with”. 

Maëva, who shares three-year-old daughter Ever with the French star, has also spoken up about fears that David will suffer a fatal heart attack during his time in Wales for I’m A Celebrity. 

She admitted that she “dreads” the idea of something happening to David whilst he’s away filming I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!, leaving her to care for their young child alone. 

The football legend is currently isolating in Wales ahead of entering the I’m A Celeb castle this year. 

Other big names to join David include broadcaster and ex-BBC Breakfast host Louise Minchin, former Strictly Come Dancing judge Dame Arlene Phillips, and famous journalist Richard Madeley. 

Emmerdale’s Danny Miller, Olympic gold medallist and diver Matty Lee, Paralympic champion Kadeena Cox, The Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge, music producer Naughty Boy, and BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ Snoochie Shy have also been announced.

I’m a Celebrity returns at 9pm on Sunday, November 21 on ITV1.

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