Former Eggheads star CJ de Mooi says he faces being made homeless
1st March 2019

Former Eggheads star CJ de Mooi says he faces being made homeless after spiralling legal costs in his battle against extradition for murder and bogus sex assault claims left him bankrupt

  • CJ de Mooi faced spiralling legal fees while fighting extradition to Netherlands 
  • It followed claims that de Mooi murdered a homeless man in Amsterdam in 1988
  • The Dutch later dropped extradition attempt but he was left in financial trouble 
  • He filed for bankruptcy last September and now fears being made homeless

CJ de Mooi, 49, has faced spiralling legal fees while fighting extradition to the Netherlands

Former Eggheads quiz show star CJ de Mooi has suggested he could be made homeless after being declared bankrupt.

The 49-year-old, whose real name is Joseph Connagh, faced spiralling legal fees while fighting extradition to the Netherlands over claims he murdered a homeless man in Amsterdam in 1988.

Dutch authorities later dropped the extradition attempt – but de Mooi was left in serious financial trouble and filed bankruptcy paperwork last September.

He has also alleged that he was sacked from Eggheads in 2016 on the same day claims he sexually assaulted a man on a night out in Glasgow were dropped. 

Now de Mooi, who lives in Caldicot, Monmouthshire, with his husband of three years Andrew Doran, has claimed his house is being possessed and he is worried about being made homeless.

He tweeted on Tuesday: ‘The bankruptcy trustee ignores my questions. A man lied and destroyed my life but is protected, so as not to dissuade genuine accusers.

The Eggheads star (centre) confessed ‘I fully suspect I killed him’ as he recalled the incident in his controversial autobiography in 2015. Dutch authorities later dropped the case against him

‘My house is being possessed to compensate his solicitors. I’ve broken no law but am being made homeless. Nobody will help me. Is this justice?

Following messages of support, he then added yesterday that he had spoken to a specialist insolvency solicitor who was optimistic that he could save the house.


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De Mooi said: ‘It will still cost a lot of money but at least I have a glimmer of hope.’

De Mooi, who was a panellist on the cult hit BBC Two quiz show for more than a decade, sparked a flurry of headlines when his autobiography was published in 2015.

Mr de Mooi tweeted on Tuesday that his house is being possessed to compensate solicitors

Two days later he told how things were looking better after speaking to an insolvency solicitor

He described being confronted by a knifeman whom he attacked and threw into one of Amsterdam’s famous canals when he was a penniless teenager in 1988.

Describing the man as a knife-wielding mugger, he wrote in his autobiography: ‘He caught me on the wrong day and I just snapped. 

‘I punched him so hard in the face, knocked the knife out of his hand and threw him in the canal. I fully suspect I killed him. I’ve no idea what happened to him.’

In May 2016, Dutch authorities said Mr Connagh was wanted for alleged ‘murder, manslaughter and assault’ and he was arrested at London Heathrow Airport.

The former BBC quiz master filed bankruptcy paperwork on September 26 last year

But the warrant was torn up at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in October 2016. 

His lawyer Chris Stevens said at the time: ‘There doesn’t appear to be a named victim in the warrant, date of birth or even an address where this matter took place.’ 

Mr De Mooi became a panellist on Eggheads, which features five quiz champions competing as a team against different challengers, in 2003.  

Originally from Rotherham, he has revealed how he ran away from home at the age of 17 following an abusive childhood and became homeless.

A spokesman for the star told MailOnline: ‘CJ’s current case has nothing to do with the murder arrest in 2017 which was thrown out when the Dutch prosecutor admitted “embarrassing errors” and it became clear CJ had never written anything about killing anyone. It was a lie written on his Wikipedia page but neither the judge nor police checked his book to verify. 

‘He declared bankruptcy in 2018 due to opposing solicitors trying to recoup costs relating to the false allegation of sexual assault made against CJ in 2016. 

‘The firm put in a claim against his only asset, the home owned with his husband, and is trying to force a sale. They are aware that CJ is very seriously ill so are apparently trying to force this through quickly. It is noted that the BBC suspended CJ on the very day he was questioned by police and fired him on the very day he was cleared of all suspicion. 

‘He has not worked since so has no savings and his only income is a disability benefit. It has been confirmed by a QC that at no point in the last three years since the case began has CJ broken the law or committed any offence whatsoever.’

The colourful career of quiz star CJ following a difficult childhood

CJ de Mooi, pictured in London in April 2014, ran away from home at the age of 17 following an abusive childhood

CJ de Mooi became a panellist on the BBC Two show Eggheads, which features five quiz champions competing as a team against different challengers, in 2003 after winning a series of game shows.

De Mooi has previously said he ran away from home at the age of 17 following an abusive childhood and became homeless in Rotherham and Sheffield.

He described how he then travelled to Amsterdam via London, spending 18 months on a staircase in Amsterdam central train station. It was during this period that the alleged killing in 1988 was said to have taken place.

From Amsterdam de Mooi moved to Cologne in Germany, where a chance meeting outside a gay bar led to the beginnings of his modelling career.

De Mooi adopted his surname when modelling, and he translates it as Dutch for ‘handsome’.

After five years he returned to Amsterdam and by 2000 he was applying to appear on television game and quiz shows.

He was a contestant on Pass the Buck and Fifteen to One, but it was The Weakest Link that led to him receiving national attention. 

Despite consistently being the strongest player he was the third voted off and launched into a now infamous rant in his post-game interview.

In 2003 de Mooi received a phone call about a new concept quiz show called Eggheads, which features five quiz champions competing as a team against different challengers. 

One of the original quiz champions, in 2011 the star took a break to focus on his acting career before returning two years later.

He was also involved in a bitter row at the British Chess Championships in 2011 when he claimed he was barred from presenting the prizes because he was wearing a T-shirt promoting the gay rights organisation, Stonewall.

A former president of the English Chess Federation (ECF), de Mooi later offered his resignation to the ECF but it was rejected.

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