MARTINE McCutcheon, star of Love Actually and once billed as one of the most successful soap-to-screen stars, has been declared bankrupt.
The actress petitioned for bankruptcy at Kingston-Upon-Thames County Court under her given name, Martine Kimberley Sherri Ponting.
She will be discharged from bankruptcy on January 2, 2014.
David Standish, joint trustee and restructuring partner at KPMG, said: “Ms McCutcheon petitioned for her own bankruptcy at Kingston-Upon-Thames County Court. We are now responsible for administering her estate and are in the process of establishing the individual’s assets and liabilities; the largest creditor being Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.”
Best known for her role as Tiffany in EastEnders, Ms McCutcheon has also won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady in 2002. After leaving EastEnders in the Nineties she launched a successful pop singing career which saw her achieve number one in the charts in five countries with her debut single Perfect Moment.
The actress also published a novel in 2009 titled The Mistress, which debuted in the top ten of bestsellers list.
Recent television work included credits in Midsomer Murders and Spooks.
Her management has been contacted for comment.
Ed Thomas, partner at accountancy firm Mazars, spoke to Credit Today regarding Ms McCutcheon: “Without knowing the background to this matter, one should not point the finger, but generally we are seeing several celebrities failing in their obligation to ensure that their financial affairs are dealt with properly.
“There is no doubt that they pay a lot of money to people who claim to be managing their affairs professionally. But ultimately it has to be the responsibility of the individual to make sure their financial affairs are up to date, particularly their income tax affairs,” he said.
"Before HMRC takes action, there will be several warnings and opportunities to settle any liabilities. Therefore, any abrogation by the celebrity of their responsibility to deal with income tax and other debt issues, is no real defence.”
Ms McCutcheon is not the first high-profile star to be declared bankrupt in recent years.
Westlife star Shane Filan was declared bankrupt just days before the hugely successful group played their farewell show last summer. He suffered losses as a result of the property crash in the country due to the economic problems.
Her stock rose higher after winning I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here. But, despite this fame and accompanying fortune, she was made bankrupt by the High Court after failing to deliver the final £82,000 of a £417,000 tax bill.
By Emma Wall, Telegraph.co.uk