herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Expectant 'model' sells tickets to birth

An aspiring glamour model has said selling tickets to the birth of her third child for a total of £30,000 (€38,000) is better than claiming benefits.

Josie Cunningham, who sparked anger among the public after she received a £4,800 (€6,100) breast enlargement operation on the NHS in order to pursue her career, said her decision for the delivery to be filmed and photographed by strangers is "not much different" to Channel 4's fly-on-the-wall maternity unit show One Born Every Minute.

The 24-year-old revealed yesterday that she had sold the four tickets, two priced at £5,000 (€6,300) and two at £10,000 (€12,600), which include permission to film and take photographs, after a deal to sell DVDs of the birth fell through.

One has been sold to a "super fan", while the other three have reportedly been bought by 
journalists.

Ms Cunningham, who has two sons aged three and six, told ITV's This Morning the idea "came to my mind and it's a good way to pay back to the NHS".

"It's not much different to One Born Every Minute. They'll not be sat down there with a camera.

vetted

"I will have someone for protection. People will be vetted."

She has promised to pay back the NHS for the breast enlargement operation and to refund Leeds Council, who gave her free taxi rides to take her children to school after she claimed to be suffering anxiety attacks.

Ms Cunningham said selling tickets was better than "sitting at home and claiming benefits".

"I've worked from being 15 and there have been times I've had to claim benefits," she said.

"I'm carving out a stable career for my kids - that's far from a scrounger."

The presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford suggested the public view her as a "fame-hungry attention seeker" and she has brought on the anxiety herself.

"I'm not bothered that people talk about me. I thrive off it, to be honest," she said. "My anxiety comes form people confronting me."

hnews@herald.ie

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