As many parents know all too well, Christmas can be a very stressful time financially – and, perhaps surprisingly, Kerry Katona is no different.
It’s hard to believe but, despite her life in the spotlight and lucrative photo shoots, Kerry Katona is far from flush. And, as the big day approaches, we’re told she’s started to panic.
‘I can understand how easy it is to get into debt,’ Kerry has previously admitted. ‘The world we live in today, especially with the internet and social media, it’s keeping up with the Joneses. Everyone wants you to think that their life is amazing.’
The former Atomic Kitten singer hasn’t had the easiest of years, following the death of ex-husband George Kay. And, with children Molly, 18, Lily-Sue, 16, Heidi, 12, Max, 11, and Dylan-Jorge, five, to provide for on 25 December, will Christmas be just as tough for Kerry?
Given her pop star past and time as Queen of the I’m a Celebrity jungle, Kerry was once in a position to really treat her family at Christmas. Last year, she admitted to spending thousands on her children, saying, ‘I’ve spent about £500 each, but you have to remember that the youngest three only have me.’
Now, 12 months on, it’s a different story for the star. ‘She’s been thinking about how she’s going to survive this Christmas,’ a source told our sister publication Woman’s Own. ‘She has to work to afford presents for the kids. This will be the tightest Christmas yet.’ And after filing for bankruptcy twice in the past, we’re told there’s a very real threat it could happen a third time for Kerry. Our source adds, ‘She just can’t face losing everything again.’
Kerry filed for bankruptcy in 2018, but it appeared she’d turned a corner after her stint on Celebs Go Dating. The E4 show threw her into the reality TV limelight, but she admitted it wasn’t what it seemed. ‘I don’t have a lot,’ she said. ‘I don’t buy myself anything. Everything I get is sent for free.’
At the time of her first filing, Kerry was said to be earning around £500k a year from endorsements and a magazine column. It’s also thought that, at the height of her fame, she was worth £6.8m – and Woman’s Own understands there are fears she’s still attempting to live a lifestyle she can’t afford.
‘Kerry’s barely keeping her head above water – she can’t afford her bills or to buy petrol and she’s got her kids to feed,’ our source said. ‘Kerry doesn’t have a regular income but she spends fast – 20 years in the industry has given her a need to keep up appearances.’
In August, Kerry surprised everyone by rekindling her romance with ex Ryan Mahoney. The pair, who split after four months of dating last year, have since decided to keep their romance out of the spotlight, with Kerry saying, ‘He’s been a good friend to me and over the last few months we just decided to give it a go. We’re settled, committed, my kids love him and so do I.’
And with Kerry needing all the financial support she can get, friends are said to be concerned it won’t be long until Ryan, 30, and Kerry have children of their own. She’s joked in the past about selling every aspect of her life, saying, ‘I just marry ’em, get pregnant, sell it to OK! magazine, and then get divorced. It is a bit of a pattern.’
Money isn’t the only thing affecting Kerry this Christmas. She was heartbroken when her ex-husband George Kay, who’s also DJ’s dad, was found dead after a drug overdose in July.
‘Kerry doesn’t want people’s sympathy, but she wants a future to look forward to, a job and money,’ our source explained. ‘Being in the public eye is both a blessing and a curse – no-one sees how she’s struggling, everyone loves you but no-one is there to help when you need it. People can’t understand how you can have everything one minute and it’s gone the next.’
So, with a starring role as the Wicked Witch in an upcoming pantomime, is there still hope for the busy working mum? Kerry certainly thinks so, saying confidently, ‘Life goes on and now it’s time for me to get stronger and move on for the sake of my children and myself. It’s time to get myself out there again and just get back to being Kerry.’
This article was originally published in Woman’s Own