A mother-of-two has told how she was left bankrupt after squandering hundreds of thousands of pounds on designer clothes and cosmetic surgery.
Claire Taylor, 52, who lives in Hertford, appeared on This Morning on Friday, and revealed how she spent up to £6,000 in a single shopping spree when her addiction to splurging on shoes and handbags from Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Mulberry spiralled out of control – and even bought multiples of the same items.
Claire – who estimates she’s blown up to £500,000 on plastic surgery and shopping sprees over the years – was able to lead an extravagant lifestyle thanks to the sale of her now ex-husband Paul’s business.
The mum, who says she can trace her addictive personality back to her childhood spent collecting comics and records, said on This Morning that what she described as a ‘fraudulent business deal’ saw the couple lose ‘everything overnight’.
But Claire, whose two children are now in their 20s, said even that didn’t totally kerb her spending, and she would still splurge on clothes from Primark even while facing bankruptcy as a newly single parent.
Mother-of-two Claire Taylor, 52, who lives in Hertford, explained on This Morning how her love for spending quickly spiralled out of control and over 20 years she managed to wrack up £500,000 worth of designer goods and surgery
Claire was able to lead an extravagant lifestyle thanks to the sale of her ex-husband’s business and explained how she spent an obscene amount of money often buying the same item in multiples to satiate her addiction.
Claire previously told Closer Magazine in an interview that after her marriage split she continued to spend on credit cards, a habit she said in part led to her being declared bankrupt.
‘Even when I lost all my money I didn’t realise, the fact I didn’t have any money meant I couldn’t do it anymore,’ she said on the show.
While going through the bankruptcy Claire would still give in to her urges – by going to Primark instead of her old haunts like Gucci and Chanel.
‘I was living in my means then, I’d always lived beyond my means. If at the end of the week I had £50 left I would probably go and buy something.
‘You can get some nice stuff in Primark, you can get a lot more for your money,’ she said.
Claire said her sprees weren’t necessarily spontaneous.
‘It was quite contrived for me,’ she said.
‘I didn’t become a hoarder where I bought everything – everything I bought I kind of wanted.’
But she admitted to a penchant for snapping up several of the same item in different colours.
Even when she was going through bankruptcy court Claire admitted that she still went shopping, sacrificing designer goods for high street bargain store Primark to get a kick
Claire said that her worst spending spree was £6,000 in one go, and that if she really liked something she would often buy the same item more than once
Claire believes there were clues to her addictive personality from her childhood saying she used to collect comics and records before moving on to clothing and designer goods as she grew up
‘I would sometimes go out on a shopping spree and… if I really liked it, then I would buy it in every colour,’ she said.
‘The multiples just got worse and worse.’
With her shopping addiction now under control, Claire can pinpoint clues from her childhood to what would become compulsive spending.
‘I remember it started as a child. Buying comics as they were known then, then I moved on to records and my collection just got bigger and bigger.’
As she got older, so her spending became more extravagant.
‘In my late teens and early twenties and more so when I had my first child,’ Claire said.
Claire has managed to turn her life around and today tells us how she overcame her shopping addiction which almost ruined her life. Alongside her is addiction expert Taner Hassan (right) who explained why shopping addiction is a real thing
Claire, who now runs Carbon Retreat which aims to help people beat a variety of addictions including shopping addiction, alcoholism, drugs, caffeine and sugar, recalled buying copious amounts of baby grows after becoming a mother, and filling up wardrobes with her purchases.
‘I did spend an awful lot of money, hence the reason why I was bankrupt and I lost my house.
‘I think the worst ever spree was £6,000 in one hit.’
She added: ‘But what I realised was that was all to make me feel good. When I got the items they didn’t really matter to me.’
This Morning airs weekdays on ITV at 10.30am