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She's got all the empathy of a cardboard box, says Keyes over Finucane rte interview

Author Marian Keyes has hit out at broadcaster Marian Finucane accusing the radio host of possessing "the compassion and empathy of a cardboard box".

The best-selling author, who has suffered from depression in the past, appeared on Finucane's Saturday morning radio programme and felt the broadcaster focused too heavily on her previous mental health issues.

Following the interview Keyes took to Twitter to explain that she "really wanted to talk about happy, hopeful stuff and she (Finucane) wouldn't let me.

"I tried my best but feel shi**y and ashamed and frustrated that 'Marian's tragic tragicness' seems to be the most interesting thing about me," she added.

Keyes was on the programme to discuss her latest novel The Woman Who Stole My Life which focuses on the life of happy-go-lucky novelist Stella Sweeney.

But the majority of the programme centred on the author's struggle with depression.

Keyes subsequently described the interview as a "radio interrogation" that knocked her "off balance" for days.

"She has the compassion and empathy of a cardboard box," Keyes said.

Challenging

During the course of the programme, Finucane asked Keyes if she had found it challenging writing a novel with such an optimistic protagonist given she was suffering from depression at the time.

"There were days I couldn't connect," Keyes admitted. "But there were also days I found it very, very helpful. I felt so utterly worthless but to write five sentences that were uplifting meant so much and in a way The Woman who Stole My Life saved my life."

Keyes seemed to take most offense at the suggestion that listeners may be surprised to hear she suffered from depression given her happy home life.

"I think it's awful that depression is still treated as something that can be cured by circumstance," she said.

"No amount of lovely husbands will alter depression."

Towards the end of the interview Keyes admitted she felt "cowed and afraid".

Later, Keyes claimed she found the interview so upsetting she was unable to sleep for 43 hours afterwards.

When contacted last night, RTE and Marian Finucane refused to comment.

hnews@herald.ie


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