TV STAR Claire Sweeney has become close to a career conman dubbed “The King of Marbella” who was jailed for two years.
John Disley’s financial scams were said to have bought him luxury cars, a swimming-pooled mansion and a £2million yacht moored on Spain’s “Costa del Crime.”
The 53-year-old former bouncer was given a two-year jail term for a £213,000 fraud in 2014, but resumed his champagne lifestyle following his release.
And he has now been snapped out shopping in Chelsea with former Strictly and Celebrity Big Brother favourite Claire, 49, and her five-year-old son.
Stocky scammer Disley was alleged to have bought failing companies, then emptied their bank accounts before they crashed.
Liverpool-born actress and singer Claire is famed for her reality TV appearances and roles as Lindsey Corkhill in Brookside and as Roxie Hart in Chicago in London’s West End.
Disley became close to the former Loose Women regular 18 months ago and is said to have whisked her to Barbados and Paris on lavish holidays.
At his 2014 trial, police said the bankrupt fraudster stripped failing companies while portraying himself as a businessman with a £500million fortune.
He spent fortunes on a rented £2million farmhouse with an indoor swimming pool, a £35,000 Range Rover, a £50,000 Mercedes-AMG, and a £2million yacht called Dawn Star moored at Puerto Banus on the Costa Del Sol.
The crook also drove a Bentley Continental supercar and flew to meetings by helicopter – and was snapped with Eastenders stars Dean Gaffney and Barbara Windsor.
Disley was stopped by police in Marbella in 2016 at the wheel of a £450,000 Rolls Royce Phantom by police who suspected he had doctored its number plate which read “BIG J.”
A source close to Disley claimed he and Claire had been “an item” for 12 to 18 months, and that Claire is aware of his background.
Friends of Claire admitted she had known him for some time – but insisted they had just “bumped into each other” while out in Chelsea.
Claire’s management declined to comment.