CELEBRITY doctor Christian Jessen is facing bankruptcy after being ordered to pay Arlene Foster £125,000 in damages.
The TV star, 44, has appealed to his followers to help him raise money to cover legal costs after he tweeted false allegations that Ms Foster was having an extra-marital affair.
Embarrassing Bodies star Dr Jessen was last week ordered by a judge at the High Court in Belfast to pay damages for posting the “outrageous” tweet in 2019.
Ms Foster, previously the First Minister for Northern Ireland, said that the tweet was “categorically untrue”, and had caused her “grave upset, distress, embarrassment and humiliation”.
Following the ruling, the TV host has claimed he has just £20,000 to his name – and must raise money through crowdfunding to pay for an appeal.
Dr Jessen said: “I’m down to my last £20,000 and that won’t last long.
“I don’t have the money so if the crowd-funding doesn’t work, I may have to declare myself bankrupt.
“It’s obviously not helped my mental health in any way at all and while I’m keeping afloat at the moment I can feel it cracking.”
Dr Jessen is now pleading with supporters on Twitter to donate to his GoFundMe page, where he has so far raised more than £4,900.
He has asked for £150,000 in total – though the total legal bill is likely to reach £300,000 should he appeal.
He continued: “Obviously, I deeply regret it, and if Arlene Foster says the claim in the tweet isn’t true, then I’m sorry for causing her any hurt.
“But I don’t agree with the judgment. I’d been brutally honest about my mental health in court and the circumstances that led to the tweet, and for that to be dismissed is really concerning.”
Dr Christian Jessen posted the false allegation about Northern Ireland's First Minister, a married mum of three, shortly before Christmas in 2019.
The medic, who has 311,000 Twitter followers, left it up for two weeks and it was liked 3,500 times and received 517 retweets.
Ms Foster had been cut "to the core" by the attack, the High Court in Belfast was told.
Mr Justice McAlinden said: "Her marriage, her family life and her faith are the most important things in her life.
"These things provide important pillars of support and it was these things that were publicly trashed."
Ms Foster previously said that she believed the attack was designed to destabilise her while she was in talks to resurrect Northern Ireland's power-sharing government.
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