atie Price’s latest bankruptcy hearing was thrown into chaos before being conducted behind-closed-doors after the reality star rowed with a member of the public over claims online court proceedings were being illegally recorded.
The former glamour model, 45, was declared bankrupt in 2019 and is due to face a public examination of her finances, in protracted High Court proceedings where she is accused of breaching a payment agreement.
A remote hearing was organised to take place on Thursday via MS Teams, but it was thrown into disarray within moments of Judge Paul Greenwood joining the link.
“People on here are on a ‘tattle’ site and they have already put pictures up”, Price told the court.
“My anxiety levels have gone up now.”
She told the judge: “Your picture has already been put up on a tattle site, they have screenshotted you and put it up on the site.”
The judge issued a reminder that the remote court hearing could not be recorded under contempt of court rules, including taking screenshots of the online hearing.
Price then singled out one of the members of the public who had signed in to listen to the hearing, saying: “There are people on here who shouldn’t be on here. I’m protecting you guys as well as myself.”
The celebrity said her mental health is affected by posts on gossip websites, telling the court: “They put all my private stuff on there…I’m petrified.”
In heated exchanges with Price, the member of the public who identified herself as ‘Sarah’ insisted she had not recorded or made screenshots of the hearing, before suggesting another listener going under the name ‘Skanky Watcher’ may be responsible.
Asked by Price what her “role” was at the court hearing, Sarah replied: “The judge hasn’t asked me that, I will answer to the judge when he asks.”
Judge Greenwood then decided to eject everyone except parties in the case from the online hearing, including members of the media, rendering it a private hearing.
“I’m not entirely convinced I can maintain control of the dissemination of the hearing or images from the hearing in the usual way”, he said.
“I’m inclined to exclude anyone not here on behalf of the parties.”
He rejected the suggestion of allowing one accredited member of the press to listen in, and said the directions made in the case would be available later from the court.
“I simply can’t know who is present in court remotely”, he added. “I can’t be sure the integrity of the hearing is not being in some way affected and broadcast.”
The judge indicated that future hearings in Price’s case may be dealt with in-person rather than online.
Price’s case is before the specialist insolvency and companies court, as trustees in her bankruptcy seek answers to questions about the management of her finances.
In March this year, Price told Jeremy Vine’s Channel 5 show her bankruptcy proceedings have damaged her mental health.
“You shouldn’t be ashamed if you have a bankruptcy because for different reasons people go into bankruptcy,” she said.
“I went through a really, really tough time the past three years, mental health and this and that.
“And when you go through that, you might get bills through and you put everything to the side because you can’t cope with anything.”
Last month, Price said she is “fed up” with legal letters and would go to prison to “be done with it”.
“I actually think it’s quite a good thing for me to be in bankruptcy,” she said.
“I’m so threatened with court letters and that all the time. I’ve been to court more times than I’ve had hot dinners lately. And I am not scared anymore.
“I have said ‘can’t you put me into prison, just to cover it all’. Be done with it.”