70K in debt funding 'Jordan wannabe' daughter
Friday 27 February 2009
Diana Torrents has done everything she can to ensure her daughter Helen achieves her dream of becoming a model – but it has left her heavily in debt.
So far, Diana, 53, has spent almost £70,000 to help her daughter’s modelling career.
The part-time supply teacher, who is also studying nutrition, has bought the jobless 24 year old a boob job, paid for her to have professional photographs taken and funded her luxury holidays.
And each month she stumps up cash for Helen to buy designer clothes, have expensive beauty treatments and socialise at trendy London bars.
But Diana, from Buckinghamshire, has spent so much money on her daughter’s lifestyle, she’s now at risk of losing her home.
“I owe just over £69,000 in loans and credit cards,” she says. “I’m looking into remortgaging my home to pay it back. I know there’s a chance I could lose it. I often wake up in the middle of the night worrying about how I’ll cope, but when Helen shows me her latest modelling photographs, I know it won’t be long until she hits the big time.”
Sitting in the living room of her £150,000 three-bedroom home – which hasn’t been decorated for 10 years – Diana says: “I just want her to have all the things I didn’t. I always liked treating my princess. I wouldn’t think twice about spending £90 on her party dresses when she was younger.
Since I split with her dad 10 years ago and my son Jack joined the army a year later, it’s just been me and Helen. I wanted her to feel special.”
Helen decided she wanted to be a model when she was 19, after becoming impressed with the success of Jordan and Jodie Marsh.
Helen, who is 5ft 6 and weighs 9st 4lbs, says: “I was training to be a beautician, but it was boring – celebrities seemed to have exciting lives. I knew that I was pretty enough – I just had to do some modelling and get seen in the right places.”
Despite the fickle nature of fame, Diana encouraged her daughter. She says: “Helen’s much prettier than Jordan. It’s amazing how much money those girls make just by dating the right men and showing a bit of flesh. I knew it’d cost a bit of money, but Helen and I agreed it’d be worth it.”
So, in 2004, Diana used her savings to pay for Helen to have her chest increased from a size 34C to 34E, costing £5,500.
Diana, who earns £25,000 a year, says: “Helen convinced me she needed bigger breasts to get noticed. I was terrified something would go wrong during the op.”
Diana also paid £1,500 for Helen to have professional photos taken, £4,500 for new clothes and £1,500 on fake tans, hair extensions, manicures and facials. When her savings ran out, she used credit cards.
“I was surprised at how much it all cost, but by the end Helen looked like a celebrity,” gushes Diana.
Since then, Helen has modelled for men’s magazines, including FHM, Hot Babes and Bykerbabe. Last year, she earned £12,000, but confesses she blew it on clothes, going out, and travelling to castings. She explains: “I’ve done topless modelling, but I won’t go naked. “My aim is to do Page 3 for The Sun.”
But Diana hopes Helen will soon move on to other things. “I’d like to see her on the catwalks of Paris one day,” she says naively.
Size 10 Helen spends her time going to castings, attending the odd modelling job, and maintaining her image. She says: “I go shopping in Bond Street twice a month. I adore Gucci, Jimmy Choo and Stella McCartney. I’ve got 40 pairs of shoes and 10 designer bags. My newest one is a £550 Chloé bag.”
Helen has clearly rationalised taking so much from her mother.
“I do feel guilty,” she says. “But Mum says it’s an investment and she never refuses me when I ask. I’ll pay her back when I’m famous.”
Twice a week, Helen travels to London to party with friends at celeb haunts including Funky Buddha and Movida.
“I take £150 to cover the train fare, taxi, entrance to clubs and £30 for cocktails. My friends have good jobs, so they can afford it. I go hoping to get spotted by a model scout and to meet people who could help my career. I’ve already met Chantelle Houghton and Lucy Pinder,” she says.
Helen has never paid rent or contributed towards household bills, and Diana also pays for the running costs of Helen’s two-year-old Peugeot. So it comes as no surprise that Diana has had to make sacrifices.
She says: “I buy my clothes from Primark and charity shops, a friend cuts my hair for free and I hardly go out. If I feel like getting out of the house, I’ll visit a friend or go for a walk – something that’s free! But I don’t mind. It’s Helen’s time to shine. Seeing her get closer to her goal makes me happy.”
Helen’s friends and family don’t know about her mum’s debt, but she says her boyfriend of a year, electrical engineer Simon James, 26, isn’t impressed.
She explains: “He says I shouldn’t sponge off Mum and nags me to get a real job, but he doesn’t mind me modelling topless as it’s how a lot of famous people start off.”
Still, Helen shows no signs of standing on her own two feet. Last week, Diana gave her £2,500 to visit the US with friends. In recent years, she’s spent £12,350 on holidays to places such as Dubai and Asia for Helen. Meanwhile,
Diana hasn’t been away since she spent a week in Wales three years ago.
Despite scrimping, Diana can’t see a way of clearing the debt: “People think I’m stupid to spend so much money, and I’ve no idea how I’m going to pay it back. My only hope is that I qualify as a nutritionist next year and can supplement my income. I’m not worried about retiring – when Helen becomes a famous model, I won’t have to worry at all.”
Gavin Brett of lads’ mag Zoo says: “Helen certainly has the figure for glamour, but it’s a lot harder than it looks and the vast majority of girls simply don’t make the grade, so it’s always worth having alternative plans.”
By Christina Windsor