Alison Hammond has reportedly been targeted by a “vile blackmailer”.
The This Morning host is said to have handed over thousands of pounds to a former friend who threated to spread false, damaging accusations about her that would end her career.
According to The UK Sun, the new co-host of The Great British Bake Off told a friend: “I’ve been so naive and feel so stupid.”
Alison reportedly told her pal: “I trusted this guy who, it turns out, was only interested in my money.”
“I thought he valued our friendship. I now know he only wanted me to fund his life of luxury.”
The publication have reported that Alison and the unnamed man formed a friendship despite his drug addiction, and the TV personality offered to pay for his rehab.
“Out of the blue he said he could tell lies to make people think less of me,” she reportedly told her friend. “It was alarming.”
“I’m a very generous person and was happy to spend money on him. I wanted to help him.”
The UK Sun reported that Alison tried to break off the friendship numerous times, but failed.
The 48-year-old allegedly told her friend: “He sent me a message stating that if I didn’t give him £3,500 he would ruin me.”
“I was flabbergasted. I’m still in shock. To have a friend seeking to blackmail and extort me is just heartbreaking. I had to realise I’d reached the end and go to the police.”
According to the publication, Alison reported the blackmail to the West Midlands Police earlier this week.
The mum-of-one reportedly told her friend: “Now, I’m genuinely scared of what this man might do to me now that I’ve stopped with the handouts and reported him.”
“It’s terrifying. I trusted this man and our friendship. But it was all so he could use me for my money. Now I feel so stupid.”
“It is as though a veil has been lifted from my eyes.”