X Factor winner James Arthur left £300,000 in debt after gambling splurge

X Factor winner James Arthur has spoken frankly about gambling himself into a mega debt.

The chart-topper, who won Simon Cowell's hit ITV talent show in 2012, explained he wasn't aware he had spiralled into the red until his accountant spoke to him.

James said the bets were placed on "football and s***" but insisted he never had a gambling problem.

The singer said: "I was like £200… £300,000 in debt.

"Bit of gambling, bit of betting on football and s***.

"There were a few big bets. I didn’t even realise I’d got myself in debt. It was my ­accountant saying, ‘You’re kinda in the red here’.”

James explained how he enjoyed a couple of "massive wins" on football accumulators.

He added: "I predicted five results or something like that. Crazy money I won.

"I didn’t have a gambling problem – a lot of football fans will bet on the football on Saturday whether they are into gambling or not."

His large scale wins meant that he was blocked from certain gambling apps due to his hefty windfalls.

James said: "I got banned because I won so much money, they were, like, ‘We basically don’t want you on this app’."

"I got kicked off. So I can’t go on any of the apps any more because I won so much money.

"It was kind of a blessing. It forced me not to gamble. I deleted all the apps."

After being catapulted to fame in 2012 and starting life as a household name, James struggled to cope.

The singer has spoken frankly throughout the years about how the scrutiny and pressures left him "feeling hollow".

He now admits that he turned to sex as a crutch which "became the focus".

James says that a lot of it was for "validation".

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He added to The Mirror about messaging girls: "But you’re punching well above your weight.

"A lot of times I wouldn’t even meet up with girls, it was just knowing that they were into me and that I could have had them.

"It’s got me in trouble and made me look a certain way in the past."

James is now happily in a relationship with dancer Jessica Gris.

  • X Factor

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