She won the reality television show Big Brother back in 2003 – and the $250,000 prize money.
But Regina ‘Reggie’ Bird is now practically penniless. A single mum to Mia, 6, and Lucas, 4, Reggie is legally blind and lives on a disability pension.
As to where the prize money went, Reggie says that medical bills for herself and her son – who has cystic fibrosis – unemployment, an entertainment conman, and two divorces took the majority of the money.
The 40-year-old has spoken to Woman’s Day about her current situation. “I’m so sick of people who don’t know me thinking I’m rich and irresponsible with money,” she told the magazine.
She says that she used her money responsibly, initially putting the money towards her mortgage in Tasmania.
“I won Big Brother, went back to Tasmania to [her former] husband Adrian and spent the majority of my $250,000 prize money on paying off our mortgage,” she told Woman’s Day. “I thought our marriage was fine but it wasn’t and that’s the reason I left Adrian, my home and money behind. Then there were lawyers to pay for my divorce. That took $20,000.”
She spent more money trying to escape from a celebrity contract, and gave $40,000 to a conman in the entertainment industry who said he could get her a TV career. Her second divorce from Dale Sorensen – with whom she has two children – took the last of her prize money and left her broke.
Her interview with Woman’s Day is Reggie’s attempt to set the record straight, after The Daily Mail reported that she was considering moving her family from their two-bedroom townhouse on the Gold Coast, to a caravan park where she would only have to pay $18 a night.
The statement that inspired the story, was a status that Bird posted on Facebook: “Wonder how much it would cost per week to live in a caravan park? Just need to work out some options with my life… Can no longer keep living the way that I am.”
The reality television personality says that when she made those statements, she was joking.
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