Debbie McGee discusses dealing with 'gold digger' label
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Strictly Come Dancing favourite Debbie McGee spoke candidly about her marriage to magician Paul Daniels on Loose Women today. The small-screen star revealed that she had been a “successful” woman prior to meeting her late husband.
The 62-year-old first tied the knot with her other half Paul in 1988 and the couple remained together until his death in 2016.
Speaking about her late partner’s legacy, the conversation turned to claims of Debbie being branded a “gold digger” in previous years.
Loose Women panellist, Janet Street-Porter queried: “Martin Lewis’ wife has hit out recently at people who criticised her and called her a gold digger.
“What I want to know Debbie is at the time did it make you unhappy?”
“No, Mrs Merton for sure didn’t because I knew it was a joke,” Debbie replied.
“As you said I was laughing a lot because I knew that she had just married [Paul Hook] Hookie.”
The former Strictly contestant made reference to the late comedian Caroline Aherne’s quip to Debbie back in 1995, where she quizzed: “What first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?”
The former magician’s assistant went on to explain that she had owned property and had “always been very independent”.
Debbie continued on Loose Women: “Also, when I married Paul he wasn’t a millionaire and actually I was pretty successful. It’s just nobody ever bothered to find out.
“I owned my own flat and I had a brand new car with no help from Paul whatsoever because I’ve always been very independent.
“I had a property that I used to rent out and I was in my late 20s.”
The small-screen star admitted that she still has to deal with “gold digger” claims to this day.
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She went on: “I do still deal with it now but because I’m an upbeat person and I always have to put my makeup on and do my hair – people think that I’m fluffy and there’s no depth to me – until they get to know me.
“I’ve always dealt with it. For years the press said I was a gold digger, I was a bimbo and stuff like that.”
Debbie added: “I would think that actually, that’s your problem and not mine because I know I’m not.”
The couple first met in London 1979 during rehearsals for Paul’s summer season show in Great Yarmouth that year.
Paul later married his second wife and long-time assistant Debbie after a decade and when the couple walked down the aisle together, he was 50 and she was 29.
The magician was previously married to Jacqueline Skipworth between 1960 and 1975.
With Jacqueline, he shares three sons, Paul Jr, Martin, and Gary.
Paul was diagnosed with a brain tumour in February 2016 and died just under five weeks later.
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