A few hours after being declared bankrupt last week, Katie Price (pictured in 2017) went out on the town dressed to the nines
A few hours after being declared bankrupt last week, Katie Price went out on the town dressed to the nines in cerise satin thigh-high boots and a black feathered mini skirt.
Given the amount of make-up she was wearing, it was difficult to tell if she was hiding her pain by putting a brave face on things or whether she simply didn’t care about the collapse of her multi-million-pound empire.
The 41-year-old thrice-married mother-of-five’s fate was announced at the Insolvency and Companies Court in London just after midday last Tuesday — nearly a year after she escaped the same fate by entering into an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) and agreeing to pay off £12,000 worth of debts a month.
Having failed to do so, bankruptcy was inevitable for a woman who, at one time, was said to be worth £45 million.
But if her once glittering career appears to be in free fall, Price has been in defiant mood, insisting it’s the best thing that could have happened to her. Passengers on a train travelling from King’s Cross to Ebbsfleet in Kent on Monday evening witnessed an extraordinary rant in which the former Page 3 girl declared: ‘I’m not bothered.’
Swigging from a can of wine and describing her first ex-husband, former pop star Peter Andre, as ‘the worst person ever’, she added: ‘I’m better off. It’s good for me. It’s better than paying two-and-a-half grand a month to the f****** HMRC. I’m not worried.’
How to explain such insouciance? Could it really be that Price sees this week’s shameful events as a way of getting out of her parlous financial state?
Several of Price’s (pictured) friends told the Mail the same thing this week. ‘She will bounce back. Give it one year’
For, in many ways her bankruptcy couldn’t have been more timely. A day after it was declared, the second of her ex-husbands — former cage fighter Alex Reid — was trouncing her at another court hearing. He sued her after she played a sexually explicit video clip of him to a TV audience off-camera in January last year.
Despite the fact Price has been ordered to pay £150,000 towards the 46-year-old’s costs as well as damages to be decided next year, Reid will now have to pursue the debt through the Official Receiver and get in line behind Price’s other creditors who are said to be owed £800,000.
Just over a week ago, in a conversation recorded for a YouTube business channel, Price gave an extraordinary insight into her feelings about impending bankruptcy, saying how excited she was about wiping her financial slate clean.
‘I’ll be bankrupt for a year, and then fresh start again,’ she said. ‘It doesn’t stop me. I’m still working. Still earning. Still got my house. I just want it to hurry up so I can look forward to the end of the 12 months. I’m a survivor.’
Several of Price’s friends told the Mail the same thing this week.
Living the dream: Katie Price with Peter Andre meeting Prince Charles in 2007
‘She will bounce back. Give it one year,’ said close friend Helen Buckman. ‘She won’t give up and change anything. That’s the sort of person she is.’ And according to another: ‘She’s taking it in her stride. It’s upsetting but she’ll pick herself up, brush herself off and carry on. She’s got all sorts planned for next year and she’ll come back better than ever.’
But how did a woman who managed to carve a seemingly unstoppable career out of a pair of breasts suffer such an extraordinary fall from grace? For there was a time when it seemed that Katrina Amy Alexandra Alexis Price — aka Jordan, aka Katie Price — had the Midas touch. And, crucially, where on earth has so much money gone?
A decade ago, Katie Price was everywhere, the star of endless fly-on-the-wall TV shows. She lent her name to perfumes, a lingerie range, jewellery, riding apparel, homeware and baby clothes. And after writing six best-selling autobiographies — three before she was 30 — became the unlikely darling of the publishing world. She has 11 ghost-written novels to her name and fans queued for hours to see her at book launches.
What a stark contrast to the situation she now finds herself in. Her trademark Barbie pink Range Rover is for sale on an Essex garage forecourt bearing a sign reading ‘repo’, meaning repossessed. The matching pink £150,000 horse box was sold on eBay this year for £29,950.
All but one of her nine beloved horses are believed to have been sold, for £7,000 each. Grimmest of all, however, is the terrible state of her £2 million, nine-bedroom home in Sussex, an elegant Arts and Crafts house which she bought from former Tory Minister Francis Maude.
Her trademark Barbie pink Range Rover (pictured) is for sale on an Essex garage forecourt bearing a sign reading ‘repo’, meaning repossessed
Last year TV cameras revealed that the swimming pool is full of algae, its 12 acres of grounds are overgrown and covered in rubble left by builders.
This week, Price and her children were said to be living at the Kent home of her on-off personal trainer boyfriend Kris Boyson, but friends say she believes she can keep her house.
A neighbour told the Mail workmen have been on site for the past few months. ‘I hear they’re gutting the place because she has completely trashed it,’ he said. ‘Her aim was to do it up, then sell it to keep creditors from her door, but things seem to have spiralled out of control.’
And so to the disappearance of Price’s fortune.
Some has been blown on the face and body — she made her fortune at the age of 17 when, after sending photographs of herself to The Sun, she was taken on as a Page 3 girl.
Having had 11 operations on her breasts, as well as face lifts, nose jobs and liposuction, she is believed to spend around £25,000 a year on plastic surgery alone.
The annual bill for her hair extensions, manicures, pedicures, facials and age-reversing treatments, as well as the services of a make-up artist, is alleged to be in the region of £30,000.
Grimmest of all is the terrible state of her £2 million, nine-bedroom home in Sussex (pictured), an elegant Arts and Crafts house which she bought from former Tory Minister Francis Maude
Then there’s the annual cost of her staff — estimated to be around £120,000 for nannies, grooms, gardeners and PAs — as well as £25,000-a-year heating bills.
She spent nearly a million doing up her last house and is apparently £100,000 in arrears on her £1 million-plus mortgage. Bailiffs recently demanded £3,000 for unpaid electricity, and last year Price was landed with four county court judgments amounting to £22,000.
Aside from spending money faster than she earns it, the biggest nail in the coffin appears to have been the men in her life — not least her first husband, singer Peter Andre.
Andre brought defamation proceedings over interviews Price gave after their split in 2009, in which she falsely accused him of being unfaithful and claimed he wasn’t genuine about his feelings towards her disabled son, Harvey. Two years later, she agreed to pay Andre damages.
Price’s former manager, Claire Powell, also accepted ‘substantial’ damages from her over a false and defamatory claim that she had had an affair with Andre, whom she still represents. Price’s legal bill alone is believed to have been in the region of £2 million.
Katie Price during a photocall to promote her Jordan Haircare electricals range in 2007
In the YouTube recording a week ago, she said: ‘The only ones who won out of the situation I’m in are an ex and lawyers. Lawyers, Jesus, the money I’ve paid to them!’
Another million is believed to have gone to husband number two, Alex Reid, after their 11-month marriage ended in 2011.
‘My exes are bleeding me dry. I’ve been such a sucker,’ she said at the time. ‘I’ve loved them all and they’ve just used me like this.’
Fatally generous to those she cares about, Price has always lavished money on her husbands and lovers.
She is said to have showered former Argentinian model, Leandro Penna, with whom she had a relationship in 2012 after splitting from Reid, with gifts, including a £100,000 Porsche.
Hot on his heels came husband number three — Kieran Hayler. Price is said to have paid off his £50,000 credit card bill soon after they married in January 2013 and spent £40,000 on sex addiction therapy for him after he cheated on her. They finally split last year and their divorce is ongoing, although now she’s bankrupt, his chances of getting a settlement don’t look good.
More recently, in June 2018, it was claimed she had spent £300,000 on cars and gifts for her latest boyfriend, Kris Boyson.
But it’s clear that the decline in Price’s financial fortunes has gone hand in hand with an increasingly chaotic lifestyle. Last year she was treated at the Priory after reaching ‘breaking point’, following what was described as ‘severe trauma and depression’.
She entered rehab for four weeks, and cameras for her reality TV show, My Crazy Life, filmed the moment her 68-year-old mother, Amy, came to collect her.
‘The last three years have been really hard, watching you destroy yourself,’ she told her daughter.
Just a few months later, in January this year, Price was disqualified from driving for three months after breaching the conditions of a previous speeding ban.
A month later she was banned for a further three months after being found drunk in charge of her vehicle, and in October she received a two-year driving ban for refusing to tell police who was driving her car when it was involved in a crash.
Price, who was born and raised in Brighton, was training to be a nurse when she sent off a set of professional photographs and launched her career under the name Jordan in 1996, going on to enhance her breasts with silicone implants and her reputation thanks to high-profile relationships with the likes of music producer Dane Bowers and footballer Dwight Yorke, the father of her eldest son, Harvey, now 17.
It was during her 2004 stint on I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here! that she decided to revert to her real name. Professionally, it was a master stroke, as was her romance with fellow contestant Peter Andre.
It was during her 2004 stint on I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here! (pictured) that she decided to revert to her real name
They married in September 2005, with Price arriving at Downton Abbey’s Highclere Castle in a pink Cinderella-style pumpkin carriage, after signing a £1.75 million deal with OK! magazine.
Over the next four years, the couple’s lives were documented via ITV2’s hugely popular Katie and Peter franchise — the high point of Price’s career.
Despite everything she has lost, she claims she can get it all back. But she appears to be in danger of becoming an anachronism in a world saturated with young reality stars and internet influencers.
She has admitted social media is a ‘different world that I’m still new to’. Judging from her Instagram page, littered with adverts for diet shakes and fashion and beauty products, she still hasn’t got the hang of it. Last month the Advertising Standards Agency banned some of her posts for promoting ‘irresponsible’ weight loss.
Industry experts say that to survive professionally she must adapt. But she faces a tough challenge.
Professor Ellis Cashmore, a sociologist at Aston University and author of Kardashian Kulture, says: ‘She thought her fame was never going to end, that she could morph into a slightly older version of herself and people would keep talking about her. Celebrity culture is fast changing and the turnover is extremely rapid.’
But PR guru Mark Borkowski, author of The Fame Formula, believes Price can still find her way out of the mess she is in.
‘Maybe this is what she needs,’ he says. ‘She needs to change the record and rebrand, and she needs a good team behind her.’
What Katie does next remains to be seen. Her friend Helen Buckman says: ‘She’s stoic. She gets knocked down by a lot of things and just cracks on.’
Price herself adds: ‘I’ve come a long way through this journey. I’m not scared.
‘I’m not afraid of what’s coming up. I am a survivor. Even if I had a log cabin, I’d be happy. I can cope in any situation.’
You’d certainly have to be a fool to write her off just yet.