A British dad who left his partner of eight years and mum to his children to be with the Ukrainian refugee they housed says he’s ‘surviving on nowt’ after losing his job in the love scandal.
Tony Garnett, 29, from Bradford, West Yorkshire made headlines across the world when he left his partner Lorna to start a new relationship with Sofiia Karkadym.
Sofiia, 22, an IT worker from Lyiv, Ukraine, had fled the Russian invasion and organised to stay with the former couple on Facebook in May.
But within days Lorna, 28, became suspicious of the growing closeness between Sofiia and Tony and was left “heartbroken” when they ran off together to start a new life.
But since then Tony claims they have been left ‘surviving on nowt’ after he lost his business and became Sofiia’s full time carer when she contracted an eye infection which left her partially blind.
Tony told the Daily Star : “I’ve been trying to get by and survive with Sofiia with nowt.
“I want to show people that I’m not a scrounger for government benefits, I know what is right.
“I used to have a very successful business. I’ve dedicated myself to it, some weeks I put over 80 hours a week into it.
“As of now, she’s my priority. She needs my care.”
Tony once ran a security firm which boasted NHS contracts but he says he lost those contracts when journalists and paparazzi showed up at his place of work, leaving health service officials worried.
He said: “Now and again I’m sending door staff to pubs and clubs but I’ve gone from earning nearly 2k a week to earning jack s*** because of media turning up to where my door staff are and trying to get my number because I locked my social media profiles.
“NHS said that because I’m now apparently a ‘public figure’ in the public eye they class it as a risk for me to be at any of these places.
“I’m not a public figure, I’m just an outspoken individual.”
Tony claims he was paid up until the end of the month before being told he needed to find new ways to make money.
In a bid to make some cash, Tony released a rap song called ‘Ukraine to UK Rain’ in which he dissed ex-Lorna who had slapped him with a restraining order.
Tony also claims his former partner has blocked him from seeing their children.
But in the meantime he hopes to further his work in the music industry or even go into comedy.
“I’ve lived off what I’ve been paid by newspapers. I’ve maxed credit cards out, I’ve been helped out by family members,” he added.
But the couple claim they can’t even afford to put furniture in the rental property they now live in together.
Sofiia has also faced her own personal battles as a result of her newfound love, when she revealed her own parents had condemned her for the scandal and told her she was making it harder for other Ukrainians in need.
The couple now say they are planning to start a family of their own together.