Freddie Starr was facing homelessness over £500k debt to sex abuse accuser

Freddie Starr faced being made homeless before his death over a half-million pound debt owed to a woman who accused him of sex abuse.

The former I’m A Celebrity star sold up and left the UK after losing a £1million libel case against Karin Ward, then 57.

She claimed he had put his hand up her skirt when she was a teenager, before callously dismissing her as a “a***less wonder.’

He sued her for libel after she gave interviews saying she was “horribly, horribly humiliated” by the fallen comic.

But a High Court judge ruled Ms Ward was telling the truth and dismissed the case in July 2015.

Public Spanish documents show lawyers acting for Ms Ward secured an interim charging order in January 2017 on the Costa townhouse where he died.

The order was for £380,000 plus almost £115,000 in interest.

The freezing order, approved by a court in the Costa del Sol resort of Fuengirola, gave Ms Ward the chance to recoup some of the costs from the defamation case.

And she moved a step closer to getting Starr’s one-bed home forcibly sold at auction a year later with a local land registry office certification.

The fallen comic fled to Spain after his libel case loss without paying any of the money he owed, but invested part of the proceeds from the sale of a £700,000 UK home into property in Spain.

A well-placed source said: “Starr was definitely at risk of losing his Spanish home and being turfed out on the streets.

“No date had been set for an auction but the ball was definitely rolling.

“The sale of the house would not have settled the entire debt Starr owed Ms Ward but it would have eaten into a chunk of it.

“It’s pretty shocking to think a man who was such a household name in his early career could have ended up on the streets.”

Starr, who bought his home in the hills above Mijas Costa after leaving a nearby property he moved to following his flight from the UK, spent the last three years of his life as a virtual reclusive in the pokey 500 square foot townhouse

The 76-year-old was found dead at the property by a carer on Thursday afternoon.

Neighbours told how Starr also owed around £3,500 in unpaid community fees and water bills.

One said he had refused to pay a penny from day one and had ignored attempts by community managers looking after the Costa residential complex he lived on to get him to hand over any money.

Lawyers asked to look into ways of recovering the debt are understood to have told residents on a management committee they felt their efforts would be hampered by the fact he still owed a fortune to Ms Ward.

Karin Ward’s representatives said in October 2015 they were planning to fly out to Spain to slap a writ on Starr on the Costa del Sol.

Lawyer David Price calculated the amount owed at the time at around £1million but the costs were just under half that and the rest was described as covering a win fee and VAT.

Starr responded at the time by saying: “I didn’t run away from the UK because of the court case. If you haven’t got socks, you can’t pull them up. I’ve got no money, plain and simple.”

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