Tom and Giovanna Fletcher have apologised for a “huge error of judgment” after using the government furlough scheme during the Covid pandemic.
The couple said they paid the full amount back after using taxpayer cash to furlough an employee.
The Sun reported on the weekend author Fletcher, who won I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! last year, had used the scheme.
Fletcher, 36, and her McFly singer husband, 35, issued a joint statement on Tuesday, apologising for the move though insisting the financial figures reported were incorrect.
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It was said they received up to £30,000.
The statement from the couple read: “Hi everyone, we’ve always had a very honest and open relationship with you all on here so we thought it was important to address questions that some of you have rightly asked us in the last 24 hours.
“This weekend there was an article in one of the Sunday papers about us using the government furlough scheme. While parts of the article were inaccurate (including all of the figures mentioned), it is true that we did follow financial advice to furlough someone we employ.”
The couple said the furlough cash was used for a staff member who “couldn’t carry out their role due to the pandemic” and the scheme was suggested as “the most effective way to give them job stability and security”.
The statement added: “Although it was a time of great uncertainty, we clearly should have thought more about the situation and funded it ourselves.
“It was a huge error of judgment and a mistake we wholeheartedly take responsibility for and we have paid the full amount back.”
As well as her work in reality TV, Fletcher presented CBeebies series The Baby Club and has written several books.
Tom has enjoyed a hugely successful music career as part of bands McFly and McBusted.