Eggheads star CJ de Mooi shares concerning post amid AIDS battle
Eggheads star CJ de Mooi, 49, reveals things have taken a ‘very nasty turn’ in concerning post amid money woes and AIDS battle
- CJ, 49, tweeted he was taking a break from social media as ‘things have taken a very nasty turn’
- The former quiz show regular revealed he was ‘dying of AIDS’ in April after a 30 year battle
- CJ also admitted he’s been forced to sell memorabilia to avoid losing his home
- The star has battled financial difficulties, and filed for bankruptcy last year
- For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, or see samaritans.org for details
Eggheads star CJ de Mooi has shared a concerning post as he revealed things have taken ‘a very nasty turn’ amid his battle with AIDS.
The former quiz show regular, 49, took to Twitter to tell fans he was taking a break from social media as he ‘wouldn’t allow his negativity online,’ just weeks after revealing that he’s been forced to sell memorabilia after being left penniless.
It comes after CJ – real name Joseph Connagh – recently revealed he’s ‘dying of AIDS’ after a 30 year battle, and told fans he may not have long left to live in the wake of mounting financial difficulties.
Worry: Eggheads star CJ de Mooi has shared a concerning post as he revealed things have taken ‘a nasty turn’ amid his battle with AIDS
Painful: The former quiz show regular, 49, took to Twitter to tell fans he was taking a break from social media as he ‘wouldn’t allow his negativity online’
In the tweet CJ wrote: ‘I’m sorry but I’ll be away from social media for a few days.
‘Matters have taken a very nasty turn and I won’t allow my negativity online. Thank you. Love CJ.’
The star’s post was then flooded with supportive messages from fans, with one writing: ‘Take care CJ. Look forward to seeing you back.’
Another wrote: ‘Take as much time as you need we will all be here when you get back. We all love you.’
Kind: The star’s post was then flooded with supportive messages from fans
It comes after CJ admitted he’s been forced to sell signed photos and memorabilia in a bid to avoid losing his home.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, the former quiz star said: ‘I haven’t earned a single penny in three years, I’m completely unemployable, I’ve got nothing, no prospects.
‘Since I was suspended in January 2016 my only income has been a single disability benefit.
‘I did not commit any crime, I haven’t said, written or done anything wrong and here I am accused of these horrible things. My life has been decimated but no one takes responsibility.’
Old face: CJ joined Eggheads as one of the original quiz masters in 2003, but was sacked from the show in 2016 (seen above third left)
Sad: On Easter Sunday the star revealed he’s ‘dying of AIDS’ after a 30 year battle, candidly telling fans ‘he may not have long left’
De Mooi said he was forced to reveal his battle with AIDS as the stress of his legal issues was affecting his already-weakened immune system.
The former model, who contracted HIV after resorting to prostitution as a homeless teenager, said he now hoped to take up acting in New Zealand or Australia.
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.
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 De Mooi was wanted for alleged ‘murder, manslaughter and assault’ and he was arrested at London Heathrow Airport.
But the warrant was torn up at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in October 2016.
CJ’s 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.’
What is AIDS?
There is currently no cure for HIV, but there are effective drug treatments that enable most people with the virus to live a long and healthy life.
With an early diagnosis and effective treatments, most people with HIV won’t develop any AIDS-related illnesses and will live a near-normal lifespan.
Those living with HIV can be at risk of developing infections they wouldn’t normally be at risk of if their immune system has been damaged by the HIV virus.
These opportunistic infections, as they’re called, happen when you have a very weak immune system.
But with HIV treatment, the likelihood of developing these is low.
The four main types of opportunistic infections are:
- bacterial infections, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis (TB)
- fungal infections, such as oral thrush and pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP)
- parasitic infections, such as toxoplasmosis
- viral infections, such as shingles (herpes zoster)
Although a healthy person would be able to fend off these often treatable infections, AIDS patients don’t have strong enough immune systems and the illnesses can continue to spread, worsen and potentially trigger other conditions until the patient eventually dies.
People with advanced HIV also have a higher risk of developing some forms of cancer, such as cancer of the lymphatic system (lymphoma).
Financial woes: CJ filed bankruptcy paperwork on September 26 last year, after he was sacked from Eggheads in 2016
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.
De Mooi first 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.
For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, or see samaritans.org for details.
Controversial: The sacking came on the same day claims CJ sexually assaulted a man on a night out in Glasgow were dropped
The colourful career of quiz star CJ following a difficult 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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