‘Westlife’ star bankrupt

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Westlife pic Reuters Second from right: Westlife member Shane Filan (file image). Photo: Carl de Souza/POOL

HE is a member of one the most successful boybands ever, selling more than 45million records and achieving 14 No1 singles in the UK.

But despite his band Westlife amassing more than £31million in 14 years, Shane Filan has proven that not even pop stars are immune from the economic crisis, being declared bankrupt with debts of £18million.

The singer is thought to have suffered huge losses after his property development empire was hit by the housing crash in Ireland.

The 32-year-old said he was ‘devastated’ about the bankruptcy decision by Kingston County Court this week. He said: ‘I have worked long and hard to try to reduce my debts, and I am devastated that it came to this conclusion.

‘I now intend to focus on the remaining dates of the Westlife tour and my commitments to the band before looking to rebuild a future for my wife, my three children and myself.’

Last month, Filan’s property development company Shafin Developments, went into receivership.

With his brother Finbarr, Filan took out a series of large loans to build a 90-home estate in Dromahair, County Leitrim. borrowing millions of euros during the economic boom.

However, only 50 were actually constructed, with many selling for less than they had cost to build.

At the end of 2011, he decided to move from Ireland to Surrey with his wife Gillian and their children Nicole, six, Patrick, three, and Shane, two.

As a result, his finances are being dealt with in the UK. His bankruptcy could have lasted 12 years in Ireland but will last just one year if he abides by rules imposed by the court.

Filan can expect an estimated £4million boost at the end of Westlife’s farewell tour next week. The group will disband later this month.

He is also expected to release a solo album next year.

Westlife manager and X Factor judge Louis Walsh predicted the singer would find success again.

He said: ‘He had no money when he started off before Westlife, and now he’ll make it all back when he becomes a massive star.’ - Bang Showbiz

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