FORMER singing star Linda Nolan has spoken of her shame at being accused of benefit fraud.
The Dublin born singer – one fifth of The Nolan Sisters girl group, which was popular in Britain and Ireland in the 1970 and 80s – will be in court later this month to face the charges.
“I’ve been an idiot, call me ignorant, call me stupid, but please don’t call me dishonest,” the 56-year-old said in an interview published in yesterday’s Sunday Mirror.
Nolan, who appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2014, is being prosecuted by the Department for Work and Pensions for £12,000 in overpaid benefits - despite the fact that the Dubliner is already paying back the money.
The figure relates to the former singer’s earnings from occasional television appearances and from writing a column in a national newspaper between April 2012 and December 2013, which she failed to declare while receiving housing benefit, council tax relief and a disability allowance, as she didn’t see them as a “change of circumstances”.
“I’m not a benefits scrounger,” she said.
“I’ve made a simple mistake and I am devastated about it.”
She added: “I’ve already started to pay it back and I will pay it back in full.”
Nolan has been charged with benefit fraud and will appear at Blackpool magistrates’ court later this month.