Eggheads star CJ de Mooi reveals he’s penniless and selling signed photos and quiz show memorabilia to get by as he battles AIDS
- The 49-year-old says he hasn’t earned ‘a single penny’ since he was fired in 2016
- Later that year he was arrested following an admission that he’d killed a mugger
- De Mooi was left in serious financial trouble and he filed for bankruptcy last year
- Former BBC star is now flogging possessions to his fans in a bid to keep his home
CJ de Mooi is pictured in a video published on his Twitter today
Former Eggheads star CJ de Mooi has revealed how he’s been forced to sell signed photos and memorabilia in a bid to stop himself losing his home amid an AIDS battle.
The 49-year-old says he has not earned ‘a single penny’ since he was fired from the quiz show in 2016 after claims he sexually assaulted a man on a night out in Glasgow.
His life further spiralled out of control later that year after he was arrested following an admission in his autobiography that he had killed a mugger in Amsterdam.
Dutch authorities later dropped an extradition attempt but de Mooi was left in serious financial trouble and filed bankruptcy paperwork last September.
His financial woes led to him revealing how he had been ‘living with AIDS for 30 years’ and the stress of his predicament was putting his life at risk.
He has now been forced to flog possessions to fans in a bid to keep his home, amid claims that he still pays out £2,000 each month in legal fees.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, de Mooi said: ‘I haven’t earned a single penny in three years, I’m completely unemployable, I’ve got nothing, no prospects.
‘Since I was suspended in January 2016 my only income has been a single disability benefit.
The 49-year-old says he has not earned ‘a single penny’ since he was fired from the quiz show (pictured) in 2016 after claims he sexually assaulted a man on a night out in Glasgow
Sad: Taking to the mircro-blogging site on Easter Sunday, the 49-year-old, whose real name is Joseph Connagh, wrote – ‘I’ve been living with AIDS for 30 years but the agony of the last 3 years means I may not have many left’
‘I did not commit any crime, I haven’t said, written or done anything wrong and here I am accused of these horrible things. My life has been decimated but no one takes responsibility.’
De Mooi said he was forced to reveal his battle with AIDS as the stress of his legal issues was affecting his already-weakened immune system.
The former model, who contracted HIV after resorting to prostitution as a homeless teenager, said he now hoped to take up acting in New Zealand or Australia.
De Mooi, who was a panellist on the cult hit BBC Two quiz show for more than a decade, sparked a flurry of headlines when his autobiography was published in 2015.
He described being confronted by a knifeman whom he attacked and threw into one of Amsterdam’s famous canals when he was a penniless teenager in 1988.
Describing the man as a knife-wielding mugger, he wrote in his autobiography: ‘He caught me on the wrong day and I just snapped.
Financial woes: The former BBC quiz master filed bankruptcy paperwork on September 26 last year
Happier times: CJ pictured in Thailand last year, having been flown over by his husband’s company so he could visit him
‘I punched him so hard in the face, knocked the knife out of his hand and threw him in the canal. I fully suspect I killed him. I’ve no idea what happened to him.’
In May 2016, Dutch authorities said De Mooi was wanted for alleged ‘murder, manslaughter and assault’ and he was arrested at London Heathrow Airport.
But the warrant was torn up at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in October 2016.
His lawyer Chris Stevens said at the time: ‘There doesn’t appear to be a named victim in the warrant, date of birth or even an address where this matter took place.’
Dutch authorities later dropped the extradition attempt – but de Mooi was left in serious financial trouble and filed bankruptcy paperwork last September.
He has also alleged that he was sacked from Eggheads in 2016 on the same day claims he sexually assaulted a man on a night out in Glasgow were dropped.
De Mooi first became a panellist on Eggheads, which features five quiz champions competing as a team against different challengers, in 2003.
Originally from Rotherham, he has revealed how he ran away from home at the age of 17 following an abusive childhood and became homeless.
The colourful career of quiz star CJ following a difficult childhood
CJ de Mooi became a panellist on the BBC Two show Eggheads, which features five quiz champions competing as a team against different challengers, in 2003 after winning a series of game shows.
De Mooi has previously said he ran away from home at the age of 17 following an abusive childhood and became homeless in Rotherham and Sheffield.
He described how he then travelled to Amsterdam via London, spending 18 months on a staircase in Amsterdam central train station. It was during this period that the alleged killing in 1988 was said to have taken place.
From Amsterdam de Mooi moved to Cologne in Germany, where a chance meeting outside a gay bar led to the beginnings of his modelling career.
De Mooi adopted his surname when modelling, and he translates it as Dutch for ‘handsome’.
After five years he returned to Amsterdam and by 2000 he was applying to appear on television game and quiz shows.
He was a contestant on Pass the Buck and Fifteen to One, but it was The Weakest Link that led to him receiving national attention.
Despite consistently being the strongest player he was the third voted off and launched into a now infamous rant in his post-game interview.
In 2003 de Mooi received a phone call about a new concept quiz show called Eggheads, which features five quiz champions competing as a team against different challengers.
One of the original quiz champions, in 2011 the star took a break to focus on his acting career before returning two years later.
He was also involved in a bitter row at the British Chess Championships in 2011 when he claimed he was barred from presenting the prizes because he was wearing a T-shirt promoting the gay rights organisation, Stonewall.
A former president of the English Chess Federation (ECF), de Mooi later offered his resignation to the ECF but it was rejected.
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