Former millionaire Shane Filan of Irish boyband lead member Westlife admitted he is “devastated” after being declared bankrupt in a UK court for outstanding debts of up to a whopping €23m. Independent Woman reports.
The 32-year-old married father-of-three said he had “exhausted all options” before filing for bankruptcy at Kingston County Court in south-west London earlier this week where he now lives with his family.
The pop chart-topper has sold 43 million records worldwide as a member of Westlife.
But his property development company Shafin Developments, which he set up with his brother Finbarr, went into receivership last month after the company borrowed heavily from the Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank during the boom.
He filed for bankruptcy in the UK instead of at home because British bankruptcy laws allow for a state of bankruptcy for just 12 months compared with 12 years here.
However, he vowed to “rebuild” a nest egg for himself and his family.
He said: “Following increasing financial difficulties, and having exhausted all other options, earlier this week I was declared bankrupt. It was a very difficult decision to take, but the most responsible course of action, given the debts I owe to banks on property investments.
“Together with a team of financial and legal experts I have spent months exploring all possible alternatives to bankruptcy but to no avail. I have worked long and hard to try to reduce my debts, and I am devastated that it came to this conclusion.
“I now intend to focus on the remaining dates of the Westlife tour and my commitments to the band before looking to rebuild a future for my wife, my three children and myself,” he said last night.
Mr Filan, who moved to London earlier this year, will be hoping to rebuild his fortune taking part in Westlife’s farewell tour, including two dates at Croke Park next Friday and Saturday, which are expected to net the band more than €5m.
Another badly needed money earner will come from his first solo record deal, with negotiations going on between several record companies interested in adding Mr Filan to their artist roster.
But no contracts can be signed until Westlife complete their last ever tour.
A spokesman for Mr Filan said he would be making no further comment last night. The singer ended his statement by asking that “the media respect, within reason, the privacy of my family”.