Mum Karla puts on brave face at the panto as her world crumbles
TURMOIL: Struggling ex-model left crippled by debt after salon collapse
SOCIALITE Karla Elliott put her financial troubles behind her when she enjoyed a night out with her daughter Emily Jade.
The Herald can reveal how the former model treated her 12-year-old daughter to a trip to see her idols Jedward when they took to the stage in the panto Cinderella at the Olympia Theatre on its opening night just before Christmas.
According to those in attendance, the one-time catwalk queen's "sunny demeanor" on the night showed little of the financial turmoil going on behind the scenes.
Karla, the former wife of Def Leppard star Joe Elliott, even managed to put on a smile when she and her daughter had the opportunity to meet Jedward after the performance.
"Karla was in great form and seemed to be really enjoying her night out with her daughter," said a panto insider.
"She said she was planning a quiet Christmas at home and appeared to be excited about spending the holidays with her daughter.
"She didn't mention anything about what was going on in her personal life and was just talking about how excited her daughter was about meeting Jedward. She said Emily is a massive fan," they added.
Dressed in a fur-lined hat, long black coat and ski boots, Karla is said to have used her showbiz connections to arrange a meet-and-greet with X Factor sensations Jedward on the night.
However, those who once hobnobbed with Karla regularly on the Dublin social scene said the mum-of-one has removed herself completely from the scene in recent years to focus on spending time with her daughter. The death of her mother Victoria in 2006 is also said to have hit her hard.
"It was as if Karla made a conscious decision to leave that lifestyle behind in the past few years," said a friend.
"She stopped going to launches and society lunches and balls and I suppose, eventually, when you're not seen out and about at these things, the invites stop coming.
"She seems to have stayed in touch with a handful of close friends but her whole life revolves around her daughter nowadays. She's definitely still based in Dublin, as Emily's in school here."
Other friends of the ex-model revealed their shock over the news that Karla has put herself on a Dublin council housing list. She has declared herself in such dire financial straits that she cannot afford to pay staff at her failed beauty salon.
She also revealed at an employment appeals tribunal that she is living on social welfare payments as a lone parent.
She told the tribunal that she had been put on the housing list for Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council in a bid to find a home.
"It's certainly a huge shock," said one ex-model on the party scene. I knew her salon had closed down, but that's all.
"She's always been a very proud woman and it's not something she wanted to advertise I suppose.
"I only saw her a couple of times in passing last year but she was always very friendly and full of chat," they added.
Karla has told former employees from her Sanas Beauty Salon in Churchtown that she cannot afford to pay them outstanding wages after the business folded two years ago.
She was not present at a hearing of the Employment Appeals Tribunal in Dublin on Wednesday where the full extent of her financial woes was laid bare.
The tribunal ruled against her and she has been ordered to pay the outstanding wages.