Some facts to counteract the lies that have been written about me on a gossip website:
The last time I used a food bank was 27th July 2018. See photo above. This was before I received the advance for my book or payment for the tour of my play.
I’ve always been clear that my show REFUGE WOMAN is semi-autobiographical. It is not a verbatim play. The play is inspired by my experiences of escaping violence but it is a work of fiction. This was made clear from the moment it was commissioned to the final curtain. No one else’s stories were used to create this piece of theatre. I used my own lived experience as a starting point and then used the imagination inside my own stupid head to create all the words and jokes and stage directions and stuff…
Anyone who asked for a free ticket to my show got one. No one who asked for a free ticket was refused. I even gave free tickets to people who I thought might be too embarrassed to ask for a free ticket. No one was ever refused a free ticket. Even on the nights that were sold out the venue kindly made space. This was made possible by the lovely people who donated toward the show. After paying all staff a living wage we donated profits from ticket sales/donations toward the local women’s refuges we were working closely with in whatever city we performed. Information about the refuges we donated to is available from The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
Cash 4 Cash was a response to the hundreds of messages I used to receive each week from middle class people on Instagram asking me questions about what it was like living in poverty. I started writing about living below the poverty line in August 2017 after my daughter and I were made homeless when the ceiling crashed down in the women’s refuge we were living in. Answering all these personal questions was an emotional labour I didn’t need during a time of great stress - so I tried to be resourceful and offered it as service. Tbh when I put a price on it most people stopped asking questions! I didn’t take money from ‘vulnerable’ women. People made a choice to pay to ask me a question and in return I answered it. On the day I received my book advance I stopped offering the service.
My book SKINT ESTATE is a memoir. It is a collection of my memories, thoughts and experiences of living below the poverty line. It’s my story. For anyone to say that I have lied about being homeless and living in poverty is ridiculous - there are council records that detail our homelessness application and list all of our temporary addresses -including hostels and refuges. Luckily, all non-fiction books go through a thorough legal read where all these details are verified and I can assure you that Penguin’s legal team have got their A game on to ensure they don’t get sued - especially as crimes, councils and MP’s are named.
We lived in temporary accommodation until 18th June 2018. We are very lucky to live in a council flat now.