Pop singer Linda Nolan is to appear in court for alleged benefit fraud totalling £12,000, it has been reported.
She told the Sunday Mirror: “I’ve been an idiot, so call me ignorant and call me stupid – but please don’t call me dishonest. I want people to know it wasn’t intentional.
“I just want to hold my hands up and say I am sorry. I’ve already started to pay it back. I will pay it back in full.”
Nolan, 56, was made aware of her local council’s investigation into overpayment of benefits last May, the newspaper said.
She had failed to declare occasional income from TV appearances and a problem page in a local magazine, because she did not see them as a “change of circumstances”.
She readily agreed to repay the £12,000 bill and thought the matter had been dealt with – until last week when she received a court summons.
The newspaper has said Nolan had suicidal thoughts and severe depression after losing her husband Brian to skin cancer in 2007 – and her sister Bernie to breast cancer two years ago.
She said: “I’ve never been in trouble in my life and the thought of going to court is horrifying and frightening. I have thought of another way out but I’m holding on with my fingernails, trying not to slip back down the ladder.”
She insists she notified the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) when she got jobs, including a reunion tour with The Nolans in 2009 and a stint on Celebrity Big Brother in January last year.
The case apparently relates to claims made between April 2012 to December 2013, and TV interviews she had done in London and a problem page for a local magazine.
She received a letter from the DWP at Christmas saying its investigation was closed. But this week she was stunned to receive a court summons to Blackpool Magistrates’ Court for failing to disclose her earnings and for the overpayment of housing and council tax benefits, the newspaper said.
She is due to appear later this month, it added.