Thursday, December 2, 2010

'I'm no benefits cheat': X Factor reject Wagner denies accusations that he is making fraudulent claims

By Daily Mail Reporter

Not cheating: X Factor reject Wagner, seen here at the Merry Hill Shopping Centre in the West Midlands today, has denied being a benefits cheat

X Factor reject Wagner Carrilho has denied claims that he has been cheating the benefits system.

And he said the only reason he entered the ITV talent show was to try to get some work.

Reports this week said the Brazilian, 54, who was booted off the show on Sunday, is to be investigated by the Department for Work and Pensions after it was alleged that he was claiming incapacity benefits.

But speaking exclusively to the Express & Star today, he said: 'I’m no benefits cheat.'

The former karate instructor and PE teacher also said job hunting had been more difficult since having three failed operations to fix a tendon in his shoulder.

He said: 'I came to England in 1992, and until 2008 I never claimed a penny of benefits.

'That’s 16 years I was paying my taxes and didn’t have any benefits at all. I only did then because the doctor from the Department for Work and Pensions told me I couldn’t work any more as a karate instructor or PE teacher.'

Smile! Wagner meets fans in West Midlands today as he defended claims he'd been fraudulently claiming benefit

He said tried for several jobs after realising there was little or no money to be made from being a pub and club singer, before he applied for the X Factor.

The singer, from Pensnett in the West Midlands, has been staying with friends to avoid media attention and today met fans at a shopping centre in Brierley Hill.

Meanwhile, contestant Cher Lloyd has admitted to behaving like a diva on the show but said she's not as hard faced as she comes across.

Speaking to X magazine, the official publication for the show, she said: 'People can sometimes think I'm quite hard-faced but I'm not – that's just my performance.

The final curtain: Wagner hugged mentor Louis Walsh and looked happy to be leaving as he spoke to host Dermot O'Leary after he was voted off the show

'When I am on stage that's how I am but I'm not like that off-stage. I’m quiet and I keep myself to myself.

'I have my moments, but I know I do and I even get embarrassed afterwards sometimes! I think, "Oh my God, did I just do that?" and I laugh at myself.

'I slammed a door the other day and even gave myself a shock from it! I'm young and I'm still learning – I feel like I'm on a ladder and only a few steps of the way up it. I know I have a lot of work to do.'

Diva behaviour: Cher Lloyd, seen here arriving for rehearsals today, said she has her moments but she's not as hard faced as she comes across on the show


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