ANTHEA Turner’s sister Wendy has told how she spiralled into depression after becoming homeless amid a feud with her sibling over money.
Wendy and her actor husband Gary Webster stayed at a Travelodge with their two sons for 10 months as they owed £150,000 to friends and family.
The couple hit “rock bottom” when they were forced to sleep overnight in their car because they couldn’t afford to pay for a hotel room.
“It took a few seconds after waking in the morning to realise it hadn’t been a nightmare, that we were homeless,” Wendy told the Daily Mail.
The mum-of-two said she sometimes felt as though she “didn’t want to wake up” as she struggled to repay debts to her family – including her sister.
“Knowing we were the price of one night in a hotel room away from finding ourselves on the streets has been unimaginably awful, to the point I’ve felt life is not worth living,” she said.
“I never thought I’d get to a point in my life where I wanted to go to sleep and not wake up the following day. But that’s what happened.
“I remember sitting alone in our room at the Travelodge, not daring to go out because of what I might do to myself.”
The couple had resorted to staying in the budget hotel in Teddington when they were unable to pay their £2,000-a-month rent on their home in West London.
They were only intending to stay for a few nights. But the days turned into months as they struggled to make ends meet.
Wendy was once a well-known face on TV having worked as a presenter on Channel 4’s Pet Rescue.
Her husband also landed regular TV roles, with a stint on EastEnders and Channel 5 soap Family Affairs.
Gary also took over the role of George Cole’s Minder from Dennis Waterman in 1991.
They were so in-demand that celebrity magazine OK! paid the couple tens of thousands of pounds for exclusive rights to cover their wedding in March 1999.
But the couple reportedly made a string of unfortunate business decisions around the time Pet Rescue was axed.
The pair were also hit by unpaid tax bills of more than £125,000 in 2005.
They were soon unable to afford the repayments on their four-bedroom terrace home in Twickenham and the mortgage company repossessed the £210,000 house.
Following two bankruptcies and the house repossession, the couple were unable to get another mortgage.
So they resorted to renting the £2,000-a-month home in London – but soon fell behind with payments and were kicked out.
They spiralled into debt and borrowed £150,000 from loved ones – including Anthea.
Anthea had lent her sister the money to help her start up a business – but it never got off the ground.
A feud is then understood to have erupted between the two sisters after Wendy struggled to pay the cash back.
Speaking to The Mirror last year, Wendy said: “She bombarded us with emails and calls demanding to know when she was going to get her money.
“All we could do was apologise and assure her we were working night and day.
“I have a history of depression so Anthea’s continual pressure sent me into a downward spiral.
“Anthea was aware but did nothing to show an ounce of understanding.”
Their feud grew even more intense when Anthea was forced to pay another £5,000 of Wendy’s debt after acting as a guarantor on a property she was living in.
Speaking about their relationship now, Wendy recognises that Anthea has helped them “a huge amount” over the years.
“Nothing would give me more pleasure than to get Anthea some money back,” she said.
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