SCARLETT Moffatt would “struggle to survive” without the support of her mum, her former boyfriend has warned.
The Gogglebox star’s ex Lee Wilkinson spoke out about the pair’s “incredible bond” after The Sun on Sunday last week revealed her beloved mum Betty took £50,000 of her daughter’s cash to fund a secret gambling habit.
Now Lee has told how the pair are inseparable, saw each other “most days”, finished each other’s sentences, partied together and loved dancing as Scarlett sang Tina Turner songs.
The pair were so close, he revealed, that Betty was even there when he met the I’m a Celeb winner while working in his job as a butler in the buff.
Lee, 30 like Scarlett, dated her for seven months until June 2018. He told The Sun on Sunday: “Scarlett would struggle massively without her mum if they were ever to fall out. It’s very sad to hear what happened with Betty.
“Betty plans so much for her and helps organise her life. I don’t see how she would survive without her. When she was getting out of line, Betty would often tell Scarlett, ‘Stop being so daft’.
"She helped keep her feet on the ground amid all of the showbiz madness.
Betty’s habit must have been very secret because I never saw her gamble once, not even on the Grand National.
“Her mum would be around at her house almost every day, and when they weren’t together they would be talking on the phone up to five times a day.
“When you speak to them it’s like speaking to one person. They are so similar. They speak the same and have the same views on almost everything.
“Scarlett was always consulting her mum when we were together and getting her advice on things like what jobs she should take.
"Betty’s habit must have been very secret because I never saw her gamble once, not even on the Grand National.”
Today, in an exclusive interview, Lee reveals Scarlett’s mum kept their home in shape, regularly cared for her dogs when she was out and had a “telepathic connection” with her daughter.
We revealed that Betty took £50,000 from her daughter’s accounts — expecting to pay it back — to fund her online casino habit during lockdown.
It emerged that 50-year-old Betty, who featured on Googlebox with her daughter, had spiralled into debt as she tried to win back the lost cash.
Caring Scarlett realised her mum needed counselling and vowed to help Betty, who checked into rehab. She is still actively helping her mum.
Scarlett was drinking with Betty at a pub in Blackpool when she first saw hunky Lee, who was working as a “butler in the buff” at a ladies night in December 2017.
He said: “She was sitting at a table in the corner and kept trying to get my attention. I went over to talk to her towards the end of the night and it was a bit awkward because I was topless except for dickie bow and her mum was standing right next to her.
“I had been wearing only an apron earlier but had switched to a pair of black jeans because the girls — not Scarlett or her mum — had been too touchy-feely.
“Scarlett is good-looking in person but I liked her personality the most, to be honest. I asked for her number and said I’d send her a text when I finished work.
“Nothing happened that night but we agreed to meet the next day. I remember we were laughing all the way through. I told her, ‘I don’t think a lass has ever made us laugh as much as you’.”
After just a month of dating, Scarlett asked Lee to move into her huge home in Bishop Auckland, County Durham. But it was on the proviso he quit his job — with her joking: “I can’t be seen to be dating a stripper.”
She did like chocolate. I think that was her downfall. I remember finding a tub of Miniature Heroes stashed under the bed. She didn’t like watching herself on TV.
He said: “I was working close to where she lived and she kept saying, ‘Why don’t you move in with me?’ Her place is big, with about five bedrooms.
“On the weekend we would watch Netflix in bed or on the TV built into the wall of her en suite bathroom.
"We used to have a glass of red wine or two and watch reality shows — RuPaul’s Drag Race was her favourite — or listen to music. We would have salmon for tea or a chicken kebab if we got a takeaway.
“She did like chocolate. I think that was her downfall. I remember finding a tub of Miniature Heroes stashed under the bed. She didn’t like watching herself on TV.
"I used to say, ‘Let’s watch the show you’re in’ and she would say ‘Nah, I don’t want to’.”
Living with Scarlett, it was clear to Lee how close she was to her mum and her dad Mark, 54, was also a regular visitor to the house.
He said: “I saw loads of Betty because she would always be round at the house cleaning and topping up our toiletries. Scarlett and her mum were like best friends.
“They would talk about everything and never kept any secrets from each other as far as I know. They loved going on shopping trips to Newcastle and would come back with bags of clothes.
“They both loved drinking Prosecco and eating fine food. I remember Scarlett once calling her mum and saying, ‘I fancy having a barbecue today’. Betty replied, ‘I was just thinking the same thing’. It was like they could read each other’s minds.
“Betty loved having a party with close family over at Scarlett’s. They weren’t too rowdy but a proper good laugh, with people singing karaoke and playing games. They would go on until around 2am or so.
“Scarlett loved going on holiday to Florida and Betty would often join her. They went everywhere together and both had a taste for first-class flights and five-star hotels.
“I remember that Scarlett liked singing Tina Turner hits like The Best, and while Betty wouldn’t sing she would dance beside her. I never saw them arguing or having a cross word. They were together a lot and had similar opinions about things.
"I don’t think I ever saw them arguing and I got on with her mum really well. She was always really proud of her daughter. Betty is a celebrity herself round here and people often ask me if I met her mum.”
Lee said he or Betty would look after Scarlett’s beloved pet Chihuahua Bonnie.
He said: “It was Betty who would have to look after Bonnie if she was out. The dog could never be alone. If Betty wasn’t with it, it was me.”
In May 2018, Scarlett took to social media to claim Lee had shattered her trust after she found out he had messaged an ex.
They broke up for a week but then got back together before splitting again in June that year.
Lee denies cheating but suggested it was moving in too quickly that doomed his relationship with Scarlett.
Lee said: “We were always telling each other ‘I love you’ and I really meant it. I thought I was in it for the long term. But moving in so soon was definitely a mistake, in hindsight.”
A spokesman for Scarlett declined to comment. Lee added: “I don’t wish Scarlett any bad and I’m so sorry what has happened with her mum.
“Her mum has been a rock of support for so many years — I hope that never changes.”
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