Benefits Street star White Dee turns down ‘far more’ than £100,000 to stay on welfare because of depression: ‘It’s a bit of a Susan Boyle case, really,’ manager says


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The Independent Online

It is true that Benefits Street star White Dee turned down “far more” than £100,000 in order to stay on welfare.

Not because “she’s a scrounger”, her manager Barry Tomes said, but because her on-going battle with depression has left her unable to capitalise on the lucrative offers she is currently being flooded with following her depiction on the Channel 4 docu-drama.

“Well known that Dee suffers from depression,” Tomes  told The Independent. “We’ve actually been offered far more than £100,000, and she could be earning that. But so could we all if we were well enough.

“So far, I’m letting her do a few fun things. There have been substantial offers coming in from all around the world.

“I think she could earn £500,000 in the next year. She will not be on benefits if she earns £1,000.


“But it’s important to note that she’s not on employment benefits, she’s on sickness benefits.

“She’s been in hospital twice in the last three weeks. She was admitted to hospital on Saturday with breathing problems.

“I cancelled an appearance on Sky News last week, because I knew she wasn’t up for it at the time so we cancelled it.

“I’m sick of people assuming she’s scrounging. People don’t stop their own benefits. It comes from a government agency. And if the doctor says she well, and tells the agency, it will stop.

“We’re in constant touch with a benefits agency and if she earns more than £1,000, she would not be entitled to employment benefits. I’m personally in touch with her doctor, too.

“They are inaccurate, the statements that are being made. But if she’s ill in a month’s time, and I’ve left a person depressed and without benefits, then I won’t be doing my job. It’s a bit of a Susan Boyle case, in a way.”

Real name Deirdre Kelly, the reluctant TV star and mother-of-two will continue to earn £200-a-week in welfare payments for the time being, which will consist of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) because of her health condition, as well as child tax credits and child benefit.

She has, however, got a song coming out next week. Track “Your To Blame” (spelt wrong deliberately, apparently) will premiere on Free Radio on Tuesday 1 April and will be available for digital download shortly afterwards.

“She’s got a rap record coming out on Tuesday,” Tomes confirmed.

“There is big speculation she’ll make a lot of money out of it, but there’s nine people in the band, so that’s split nine ways.

“The band’s called XOVA, they’re a sort of UB40-style band from Birmingham. And she raps on the vocals.”