Duchess of York is struggling to avoid bankruptcy
£2m debts said to have spiralled out of control
THE Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, is "doing everything she can" to avoid bankruptcy, her spokesman has said. It is believed that she owes around £2m (€2.4m) relating to her business concerns.
But while voluntary bankruptcy is still an option, the spokesman said the situation is "being managed" and that all her personal debt has now been paid off.
Sunday newspapers reported that Ms Ferguson owed £5m (€6m) in both personal and business debt. It said that the state of her finances had caused the queen to be "deeply concerned".
Ms Ferguson went public with her financial problems in May after she had been caught in a cash-for-access scandal.
She was filmed accepting money from a 'News Of The World' reporter posing as a business tycoon in exchange for an introduction to her ex-husband, the Duke of York.
During a subsequent interview with US chat-show queen Oprah Winfrey, the former royal owned up to being "substantially" in debt, but she would not say by how much.
A spokesman for Ms Ferguson said: "The figures in the press have been exaggerated. The situation is being managed.
"The only debts she has are business debts, some of which are disputed. All her personal debts have been paid.
"There are a number of options open to the duchess, of which bankruptcy is one. But it would be premature to say she is going into bankruptcy as the situation is being managed."
The figure used by newspapers was yesterday dismissed as "significantly" exaggerated.
Sources have suggested that the actual total owed is closer to the £2m (€2.4m) mark.
Media reports in England yesterday claimed that Andrew, the Duke of York, who is masterminding the "rescue plan", knows she is desperate to avoid bankruptcy.
Such a move would also be particularly embarrassing for him because he is the UK's special representative for international trade and development.
It is believed that slightly more than half of the money owed relates to the US, where some of her legal fees have spiralled out of control.
The interest alone on the debts totals several thousand pounds a week and the duchess has no real income to pay off the money that she owes.
This is the latest in a series of embarrassments that Ms Ferguson has caused the British royal family over the past two decades.
Nevertheless, even now, the Duke of York is being supportive towards the mother of his two daughters.