While it may seem harsh, 57-year-old Melissa Ede reasons are justified, somewhat, by the cold treatment she received from a select members of her family from her first marriage.
The transgender taxi driver from Hull is intent on improving her life now she is in a financial position to do so, and after recently getting engaged the timing couldn’t be any more perfect for Melissa, her fiancé and her five young children.
Speaking to UNILAD about the moment she realised she had just won £4 million, the cab driver – who has since quit her job upon her new-found fortune – thought it was all a big prank for a hidden camera show.
You think it’s not real. It’s like you double and triple check, 20 times, and it looks right. Then you start to think: ‘Is this a prank show?’
Even after the National Lottery had sent over officials to hand her the huge cheque ‘it still hasn’t become real’.
I haven’t had a chance to really realise it, even though I’ve been doing all these interviews and everything, with everybody who wants to talk to me, I still don’t think it’s hit home. I mean the money is in the bank account, I can see it, but it’s just mad as it feels it doesn’t feel any different.
It’s really really weird, I’m buzzing about it but the reality of it all will kick in when I start buying bigger things like a house and the car I’ve never had. That’s the point when it all becomes reality because it’s mine.
With her new-found fortune, as well as a big house and car for her fiancé and children, Melissa also plans to get some much-needed treatment for her teeth and ‘a bit of plastic surgery to tidy up’ her face. She also has grand designs to invest her winnings to start her own designer brand as well as complete her autobiography.
I’ve led a very colourful and interesting life and that needs to be published for a lot of reasons really. To help and offer hope to people, and what better way to do it than with a fairy tale ending? Which is what I’ve got.
However, those who won’t be sharing in the spoils of her new riches will be those she says pushed her away during her transition to becoming a woman. While other media outlets have reported she intends to cut out her children from her first marriage, Melissa clarifies with us the statement was ‘taken out of context’.
Melissa told UNILAD:
My actual statement was ‘Now it’s payback time, the people who have stood with me and been behind me right through this will get rewarded. The people who turned their back on me; including my children and my family stay where you wanted to be, just because I’ve got money things haven’t changed.’
That was the message: ‘Don’t come round because I’ve got money, you’re not going to get money out of me, you haven’t wanted to know me all these years’.
Now it comes off as a bit harsh, I do realise that, and maybe if they did come to me I’m willing to talk to them. But they’re not going to get money out of me for a very long time. They would have to prove to me that they want to be in my life because they want to be, not because of my money.
Melissa confirms that she is still on speaking terms with her eldest and youngest children from her first marriage, however, her two middle children haven’t seen or spoken to her for more than 15 years. The ‘misreporting’ has obviously caused her oldest and youngest kids to be upset about what’s been written.
… they said we never turned our back on you because you were transgender, we always supported you and they did. I was even on Jeremy Kyle with my youngest, who I found out wasn’t my biological daughter – but she’s still my daughter to me, and sat on the show saying how wonderful she is and how great she’s been throughout my transition.
I didn’t know if it was The Sun or The Mirror who printed the lies, but it’s like ‘What are you doing?’. But I understand what they’ll do is take little bits out of it and make it into a story.
What I said to the youngest and the oldest is: ‘Look, things are really up in the air with everything, please let it settle down, then I will contact you and we can talk.’
I told them to stop reading the newspapers because they’re going to say what they want to make a story. If you want to know what I truthfully said watch the live videos and the interviews I do on TV. Watch what I say on them rather than taking little bits out of newspapers.
Melissa claims the press have been knocking at her neighbours, who she’s known for 20 years, and have even appeared at her fiancé’s house looking for a story. While she is open to communication from those who cut themselves out of her life she states they need ‘to prove to me that they want to be in my life’.
I’ve had to struggle throughout life. I sound quite hard and callous but that’s the life I led.
With a £4 million fortune, she can now lead it however she likes.