In a surprise announcement, one of Britain’s best known celebrities, Martine McCutcheon has being declared bankrupt.
The 36 year old former EastEnders actress petitioned for her own bankruptcy at the Kingston upon Thames County Court under her real name of Martine Kimberley Sherrie Ponting. Details of the bankruptcy reveal that her largest creditor was the taxman, a.k.a. Her Majesty’s revenue and Customs.
This has come as a surprise as she appeared to be a celebrity with everything. She appeared in prime-time TV shows, to films, to the stage, to being a best-selling novelist. She now has debts of £187,000. She owes £149,000 in tax to Her Majesty’s revenue and Customs and about £30,000 to Lloyds Bank.
Martine McCutcheon first came to fame in 1994 when at the age of 18 when she played part Tiffany Mitchell in the BBC1 prime-time soap East Enders before being killed off in 1998. 22 million viewers watched her final scenes as her character was killed in a special New Year’s Eve episode.
The real reason she wanted to leave the show was to pursue a pop career. Afterwards she made it clear that she was angry at her characters permanent demise. She had only wanted to be written out of the show temporarily as she had hoped to return at a later date.
Her pop career was successful and reached its peak when she had a number one hit with her first solo song “Perfect moment” and platinum selling album. It was not only a hit in the UK but also in Switzerland, Israel, Ireland, and Italy. She went on to make three albums but by the third one, sales had fallen dramatically and Virgin Records cancelled her contract.
She has enjoyed success on the stage with her role of the Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady at the National Theatre in London. In 2002, Martine McCutcheon went on to win the Laurence Olivier award for Best actress even though she missed many performances due to ill health and left the show five months early.
In 2003 she appeared alongside Hugh Grant in the romantic film comedy Love Actually. The film was a box office success and Martine went to America to further her career but success was not forthcoming and she returned back to England.
Martine has published three books books, the first was her autobiography “Who Does She Think She Is” in 2000. The second was in 2003 entitled “Martine McCutcheon: Behind the scenes – a personal diary”. In 2009 she published her first novel “The Mistress”, which became a top 10 bestseller.
The Love Actually star has done TV adverts for the supermarket chain Tesco, she was the TV face of the fabric softener brand Lenor and until recently she was also the TV face of the Danone Activa yoghurt UK adverts.
Accountancy firm KPMG has announced they are joint trustees in the bankruptcy and will be handling all of the stars finances. This will include finding out her financial assets and liabilities and possible disposal of any major assets which will then go to pay her creditors.
She is due to be discharged from bankruptcy on 2nd January next year.
She is certainly not the first celebrity to run into financial difficulties, although someone can appear to be doing very well, there can be awful lot of money to pay out too, especially if they live up to the celebrity lifestyle. But in the end it is the individual’s responsibility to make sure their financial affairs are in order especially when it comes to income tax.