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


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.”

Read More: White Dee v Katie Hopkins In Benefits Debate
White Dee 'So Angry' At Impact Show Has On Children
James Turner Street Sign Snatched By Thieves
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam