'I feel I've been set up, I never paid any money to The Viper', says RTE star Brian Ormond
RTE star Brian Ormond has said he feels "hurt and upset" by reports linking him with an alleged €40,000 debt being pursued by Martin 'The Viper' Foley.
The popular TV star did meet with the former criminal on just one occasion, but that was to "clarify" his financial position and he never handed over any money, the Herald has learned.
The popular presenter hit the headlines over the weekend after allegations that the star had invested a female friend's savings into an oil deal, but the scheme tanked.
A report further claimed that the Dublin star had been avoiding calls from the friend for months before she decided to call in Foley's debt recovery firm to call out to Ormond's plush home in Co Kildare.
"This is a dispute between Brian and someone else about a joint venture that they went into together, that's all. He doesn't owe any money," a source told the Herald.
Brian denies several aspects of the article, which has been described by his lawyer Gerald Kean as "misleading".
The presenter claimed it has been deliberately put into the public forum in a bid to portray him in a negative light.
"I just feel so hurt and upset that somebody would completely fabricate a story to make me look bad," he told the Herald.
"There is no lady, there is no oil deal and I have never given a cent to Martin Foley, nor have I ever entered into an agreement with him.
"I believe in Gerald to clear my name," he added.
Brian's comments were echoed by celebrity lawyer Mr Kean who said there was more to the report than meets the eye.
"The story is misleading. It suggests Brian owes a debt to somebody and that is not the case, he does not owe the money that is alleged," he said.
"He was never involved in any money transaction involving a lady - he was never involved with a lady or any oil business.
"He never agreed to pay any money back to anybody, nor has he made any payment to Foley. He just met him once to clarify his position.
"He never agreed to pay any money back to anybody nor is he being sued by anybody," Mr Kean added.
Brian, who is married to model Pippa O'Connor, first sprang to prominence thanks to his stint on Popstars, a contest to form a band called Six, as well as appearing on talent competition You're A Star.
Dad-of-one Brian has gone on to present a number of programmes on RTE including Satitude and more recently the Big Money Game which he co-hosted with Sinead Kennedy.
He has worked steadily in the showbiz industry over the past ten years and is one of Irish TV's most familiar faces.