‘Angel’ fundraiser ‘used PR firm to get her on Celeb Big Brother – NOT for disabled mugging victim Alan Barnes’ campaign’
PR boss Claire Barber claims she was hired to make 'troll' Katie Cutler famous - NOT to raise money for vulnerable Alan Barnes
BY TOM GILLESPIE
17th September 2016, 7:45 am
THE PR boss threatening to slap an “angel” fundraiser with a court order over an unpaid bill claims she was hired to get the “do-gooder” on Celebrity Big Brother – and NOT to raise the profile of a disabled mugging victim’s campaign.
In shocking accusations Claire Barber, CEO of Claire Barber PR, says Katie Cutler was hungry for fame and paid her £6,687 to try and get her on TV.
Claire even claims Katie earns between £5,000 and £10,000 a month – meaning she has more than enough to settle the fee.
Katie Cutler has strongly denied all the accusations that have been levelled at her.
After vulnerable Alan Barnes was attacked and mugged outside his home in January 2015, Katie set up a fundraising campaign that raked in £330,000 for him.
It has since been reported Alan only offered to help Katie out with £10 towards the £6,687 she owes Claire’s PR firm.
Katie, who yesterday defended him, claims she used the £550-a-day company to raise the profile of her fundraising campaign, but Claire says she actually hired her firm to make her famous.
Claire told the Sun Online: “She hired me to be her buffer between her and the media.
“She got me to deal with getting her on shows like This Morning and Good Morning Britain.
Disabled mugging victim Alan Barnes offers chief fundraiser, Katie Cutler just £10
"I worked with her for four months between March and June last year, at a rate of £550-a-day for two or three days a week
"I actually worked a lot more than that at no extra cost.
"She mentioned getting her on Celebrity Big Brother and making her a celebrity.
"I never even went down that road.
"Once it was all over she owed me more than £6,000 and I never got it back.
"I offered her payment plans and all sorts of different options but she didn't take them up.
"She has no interest in paying at all.
"It was only until roughly July this year that I started taking legal action and decided I will go through a small claims court."
Claire said Katie pretends to be an "innocent girl" - but is actually an astute businesswoman who charges hundreds of pounds an hour for her beauty therapy services.
The PR chief, whose clients include Marco Pierre White and The Alan Shearer Foundation, added she has been trolled online by Katie.
Katie has denied the allegations and said she hired Ms Barber to help her launch a charity.
She claims the charity would focus on helping "anyone who came to her for her help".
When asked if she earned between £5,000 and £10,000 a month, she told the Sun Online: "I've heard that's been said. It's ridiculous.
"My fridge just broke down and my dad had to buy me one, I couldn't afford it."
She also claims she helped Mr Barnes because because he needed it and not for her own gain, and has never wanted to become famous.
Katie said: "The important thing is I never signed anything.
"I owe her that money supposedly but I never signed anything.
"I wanted to set up a charity for anyone who came to me for help."
Alan Barnes describes mugging attack
Katie first appeared in the news after Alan Barnes was mugged and beaten up while taking the bins at his home in Low Fell, Tyne and Wear.
She set up a fundraising drive which eventually received £330,000 in donations that went to Mr Barnes.
Katie was recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list and received a British Empire Medal for her work in helping the disabled mugging victim.
She was dubbed the "Angel of the North" for her charitable work in helping Mr Barnes.
After it was first reported that she owed Claire Barber PR more than £6,000, she told the BBC: "The agreement we had was that she [Clare Barber] would do it pro bono until my foundation was set up. Everyone anticipated it would raise millions of pounds and it would be very successful.
"I understood I wouldn't have to pay out of my own pocket. If I had thought I was personally liable for any of this I wouldn't have gone ahead and done it."