The mum who abandoned superstar singer Mick Hucknall as a child has said she has no regrets about walking out on him.
The star – whose global hit Holding Back The Years was inspired by his desertion at three years old – has previously spoken about its effect on him, once leaving him a sex addict.
Now Maureen Taylor has been tracked down to her home in Dallas, Texas.
But tragically, there was no outpouring of remorse for Mick.
When approached, she said: “I didn’t abandon him, absolutely not.
“My philosophy has always been the home is the most important thing so I chose to do that because I wanted him to have a safe place.”
Asked if she loved him, she replied: “Of course I do. He’s my kid.”
But the 80-year-old has told friends she would “slap” Mick if she ever saw him after he claimed she lied to him, saying she had terminal cancer in the mid-90s in order to see him.
The pal said Maureen holds no remorse over her decision to walk out on Mick and his dad, Reg, in 1963, saying she feels it was the right thing to do.
“She doesn’t have any guilt. She felt she was leaving Michael in a place of safety because she had to work to keep a roof over her head,” the friend said.
“She couldn’t live with Reg. He wasn’t going to give her the house, so what was she supposed to do. Maureen says Reg wasn’t going to pay me a penny and claims he didn’t. She calls him an ‘a*******’.
“She says she never made a claim on the house despite it being in both their names.”
Mum-of-five Maureen told her friend she tried to take Mick and move back in with her mum. But she says her mum refused, leaving her to rent a room in a shared house unsuitable for raising a toddler.
She would, however, see him in the neighbourhood.
The pal added: “When she was in England, Maureen would see him in supermarkets near where he lived and then would tell him what he was wearing.
“You know, it wasn’t like, he could just say she were dead. That’s not the case.”
Maureen’s love life is as colourful s her son’s. She wed Mick’s dad Reg in 1959 before divorcing and marrying Imre Kozarits. They went on to have a son and daughter.
She then wed Alan Booth-Simonsen, having two children before they too divorced.
It was in 1990 that she moved to the States.
Within weeks, she was with Jesse Joel Taylor, now 77, who she married, settling in Texas. After just 30 months together, they divorced in August 1994.
She wed Adolf Yelizarov in June 2005, but that too ended in divorce just SEVEN months later – after, she said, he was deported.
Her Manchester charm then saw her snare toyboy Jerald Barthold marrying in June 1997. But the 13-year-age gap proved unlucky for them and the pair divorced in December 1998.
She married again six years ago.
According to friends, despite now happy, her ire towards Mick has not mellowed after she claims he mischaracterised their meeting at the Mansion on Turtle Creek hotel in Dallas.
The reconciliation – around 26 years ago – only made matters worse.
Mick has told how his mum claimed she had skin cancer and he flew to the States to see her. She says that’s not what she said, and she only talked about looking after his skin because of his red hair and fair complexion.
The friend added: “Maureen has said she never wants to see him again. She is adamant she never told him she had terminal cancer.
“She questions it all the time and had asked whether it was to sell more records or sympathy.”
Twelve years ago Reg, a former RAF man and barber, died suddenly of a heart attack at his home in Manchester.
Mick paid tribute to his loving father on his 2015 Big Love One album.
Mick, who once claimed to have slept with more than 3000 women in three years – including Helena Christensen, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Melanie Sykes and Steffi Graff – blames his mum’s absence for past sex addiction. “That framed my relationship with women,” he once said.
“As a teenager, you bounce off your mum. They give you guidance.
“My dad’s generation was stony-faced. He’d tell me to get on with it. There was no learning to communicate with women.”
The pal added: “Maureen thinks there are other kids that go through hell, worse hell than Michael.
“She once told me he had a good home, a comfortable home, and I left him with that.
“As for being a sex addict, she said that’s his deal. She said that’s who he is and not to blame anybody else.”