Katie Price is caught in the middle of a bitter cash row between a fellow model and a convicted fraudster.
Australian fitness fan Debbie Sugrue, says she was left £40,000 out of pocket after striking a deal for the reality TV star to promote an Instagram campaign.
She had asked Katie via her official Insta page to plug a competition for her marketing firm Giveaway Collaborations International, and received a reply from James Austin who said he was acting on Katie’s behalf.
Debbie claims a deal was struck but Katie and her boyfriend Carl Woods then failed to meet their deadline.
She is pursuing Mr Austin, who was convicted in 2008 for using his grandparents’ names in a fraud worth tens of thousands of pounds, for a refund.
Mr Austin, who is also known as Jay, was jailed for two years in 2012 for other offences, after being arrested for passing fake notes at Royal Ascot.
Debbie, 28, told the Sunday Mirror: “This is destructive to my business. Nobody from their side has apologised or even acknowledged what happened.”
She says Katie, 42, and Carl, 31, were meant to plug the competition to win 10,000 Australian dollars – £5,600 – to their 2.5million followers on January 31.
The post would remain live for five days, directing fans to enter the draw by following Giveaway and 45 of its clients,
Debbie – who herself has almost 70k followers on Insta – says she transferred a fee of £3,950 to Mr Austin’s company, Lucky7 PR, happy the deal was done.
But she claims Katie put up her post three days late and Carl a day late – resulting in fewer entries and leaving her own clients demanding refunds.
“I was frantic. I had my clients emailing me day and night,” she said.
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“It was constant excuses and Katie finally put it up three days late – two days before the competition ended.”
Debbie says she is now considering legal action if Mr Austin does not give her a full refund. She added: “I really don’t know how much Katie knew about this.
“Jay, however, has a history of fraud.”
A spokesman for Katie and Carl said: “They would never knowingly enter into any agreement and not honour the contractual terms”.
Mr Austin said he manages collaborations for Carl and sometimes for mum-of-five Katie.
He accused Debbie of rescheduling the agreed posting date several times and paying late, and insisted that there would be no refund.
He added: “The only person who was late to post was Katie. Carl posted everything on time.”