THE mum of the four-year-old girl who was injured after Ant McPartlin crashed his car while drink-driving has backed the troubled TV star.
Shilpa Dandekar was travelling with her husband and daughter when they were involved in the smash with the Saturday Night Takeaway host's Mini.
Speaking at the time, dad and restaurant boss Faheem angrily hit out at McPartlin, saying he could have put their daughter Amaira in a wheelchair.
But mum, Shilpa, has since spoken out in support of McPartlin, telling OK!: "Of course, concern for my family’s safety was always paramount, which I’m sure he considered when addressing the whole matter to the public.
"I feel for what he’s going through and hope he pulls through."
McPartlin this week revealed he was "truly sorry" over the drink-drive crash, having pleaded guilty and slapped with a £86,000 fine and banned from the roads for 20 months.
Shilpa said that she had been touched by McPartlin's apology outside court, adding: "I felt it was sincere and as honest as a person in his very public position can be."
It is believed the crash happened after Ant tried to overtake another car on a bend and lost control.
The 42-year-old presenter, who is worth £60million, admitted he had "alcohol and emotional issues" after pleading guilty to being twice the drink-driving limit at Wimbledon Magistrates Court.
Begging the public for forgiveness, McPartlin had earlier told the court he was "ashamed and mortified", saying in a statement: "I accept full culpability for this and wish to apologise to all concerned.
"I'm incredibly disappointed that I've let myself and so many others down on this occasion."
The court was told how other people involved in the crash had been left fearing "they could have died" – with a nine-year-old screaming to his mother: "I'm dying mummy, I'm dying mummy".
Sentencing District Judge Barbara Barnes told McPartlin: "At the time when it happened you were struggling with various personal problems and also alcohol issues for some months.
"This incident happened, sadly, when it seems you suffered a brief relapse."
She added: "I think it will have quite an impact on you to know you're no longer a man of good character."
McPartlin, who is also in the process of divorcing his wife of 11 years, Lisa, must now work to rebuild his career after the crash.
After he was charged, ITV announced the Saturday Night Takeaway host would step back from his TV commitments, with co-presenter Declan Donnelly hosting the final two episodes of the show on his own.
McPartlin appeared alongside Donnelly on TV screens over the weekend as Britain's Got Talent aired its pre-recorded audition shows.
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A pal previously told The Sun that Ant knows he has to "face the music".
They said: "He is obviously gutted about the whole thing and wants to focus on getting better.
"He has a lot to do to prove himself again. Hopefully this is the first step.”
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