Over the weekend it was reported that Sarah Ferguson has been left on the brink of financial ruin after losing more than $5m (£3.2m) following the collapse of a business. The failure of her New York based company, Hartmoor, was largely blamed on the lavish spending overseen by the board of directors.
The duchess launched the firm with a string of high-profile investors in 2006 in a bid to make a comeback from a string of scandals about her personal life.
She planned for the business, which ran for just 18 months, to make her a household brand - with her name being used on a variety of products including jewellery, weight loss items and candles.
Fergie, who made her name in the US through a lucrative £2m a year Weightwatchers contract and regular TV appearances, put $1m of her own money into the business.
Hartmoor ceased all operations on May 23, 2008, with Ferguson buying out the other investors. Winding up the company took a further eight months.
The Times revealed that the duchess was advised to take Chapter 11 bankruptcy to protect herself but instead took a personal loan from Drummonds, the private banking arm of the Royal Bank of Scotland, to repay creditors £750,000. In return she regained the rights to her own name.
James Henderson, the duchess’s spokesman, said: “There is a financial review under way and as part of that voluntary bankruptcy is an option. But at the moment she is trying to work through this without taking that option.”
In May, the Duchess was caught trying to sell access to the Duke of York, her ex-husband, for £500,000 and filmed on tape saying she "did not have a pot to piss in". She later admitted it had been a serious error of judgment.