Grift Watch
Investigating and exposing Internet grifters, scams and fraud.
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Jack Monroe

Published on February 4, 2024

Jack Monroe is no stranger to controversy. The self-described anti-poverty campaigner and food writer has long had fans singing her praises for “all the good” she does and critics who accuse her of a litany of sins: from creating, in the stated portion sizes, “recipes” that are calorifically inadequate to survive on on a regular basis, and seemingly haven’t been tested properly, through to lying about things like the emotive backstory that saw her catapulted to national media attention in 2012.

Many of her own claims have been investigated and debunked by notorious gossip website, Tattle Life, in an online wiki that anyone can read. As these claims are too numerous and also largely irrelevant to my investigation, I do not intend to cover them in any great detail, however I am grateful for them providing a great deal of the evidence on which I initially began my investigation back in January 2023.

Some of these claims also been covered by Katie Roche in her excellent investigation into Jack from August 2022 with follow-up pieces in February 2023 and December 2023.

The primary criticism levelled at Jack is that she lied about two key things:

  1. How poor she actually was at any given time, such as in July 2022 when she claimed to be so poor that she was boiling down soap to make shower gel and had unscrewed all her lightbulbs and replaced them with solar lamps.

  2. Whether she had met all the commitments she had agreed to. For example, whether she had posted out all the goods she promised as part of her Patreon subscription service, or explained what she did with the money she raised to sue Lee Anderson and Martin Daubney for alleged libel, as she did not in fact sue them at all.

The unfulfilled Patreon rewards

In an interview with Simon Hattenstone published on 7th January 2023 in The Guardian, she claimed defensively that she had caught up with sending out all the goods due to her Patreon subscribers after a 19 month content drought. This piqued my interest at the time when I read it.

An extract from Jack Monroe’s interview with Simon Hattenstone on 7th January 2023 in The Guardian

So, to find out whether this was true or not, I signed up for her Patreon on the same day (7th January 2023) after reading the Guardian article. I paid £12 for the privilege, subscribing to her “Thrifty Shades of Beige” monthly membership for “a limited number of double sided, premium thickness, A5 recipe cards with full colour photographs. The recipes will be brand new and will not be published on my website for at least two months after being sent to backers, if at all.”

These were to be sent out every week to UK backers like myself.

The Patreon tier I signed up for

After some reflection, I decided that actually it didn’t matter if people didn’t receive anything from her, as long as she was offering refunds. So, I emailed her the following day and asked for a refund. I never got a reply.

The email I sent to Jack asking for a refund

On that basis, I decided to see if I would actually get the postcards every week because surely if I wasn’t going to get a refund, I would get the stuff I paid for? I expected 3 to come in the post (I had signed up a week into January so didn’t expect all 4) and had supplied Jack with my mailing address to receive them. They never arrived.

On 1st of February, I issued a claim form in the small claims court against Jack for £10 (it should have been £12 but I forgot to include for the VAT I was charged) plus the cost of issuing the claim (£35), and then 4p statutory interest: a grand total of £45.04.

This claim form was sent by post to her house by HMCTS as well as via email (also from HMCTS) to a publicly available email address that she claimed to monitor regularly.

A screenshot of the claim form on the HMCTS website

She had until 20th February 2023 to file a defence or request an extension to the deadline. She did neither. On 20th February 2023, I applied for and was awarded default judgment. This is where a court automatically finds for the claimant (me) on one of two grounds: either the defendant has failed to acknowledge receiving the claim (“failure to acknowledge service”) or the defendant has failed to file a defence (or any document intended to be a defence).

This is available under Part 12 of the Civil Procedure Rules as a matter of right. I was awarded a County Court Judgment to the amount of £45.04 which she then had a calendar month to pay to avoid this CCJ being recorded on the Register.of Judgments, Orders, and Fines.

She subsequently received a copy of the judgment below sent to her home address by HMCTS about a week after the judgment was awarded on 28th February 2023 (so probably around the 7th March 2023).

The CCJ I was awarded against Jack

She could have sent cash, a cheque, a postal order, or a letter asking me how I’d like to be paid to the address I specified. She later complained that I didn’t supply an email address or a phone number to be contacted on, but the initial claim form does not include an area to enter that information, and the information you do enter is simply transferred straight across to any CCJ paperwork.

She did not pay the CCJ within one month, so the entry was added to the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines and will remain on there for 6 years, despite now being settled.

Court beckons

Over the following months, she persistently ignored my polite requests on Twitter for her to pay my CCJ. She would later claim two different things: firstly, she had no idea who I was, despite being able to look me up in Patreon with the details I had provided to her on the claim form (i.e. my name, address, etc. as they were identical) so she couldn’t possibly issue a refund, and then secondly that I had given her no way to pay the money back and in any event she was too poor to afford it.

It turns out this second claim was predicated on the notion that she could not, in fact, send cash, a cheque, a postal order, or a letter to my address asking me for my details to pay me. She hinted that I would have not responded to a letter, however the court would have rightly sanctioned me for being unreasonable if I had chosen to take that course of action.

On 28th April 2023, I decided to test her theory that she was allegedly too poor to pay by requiring her to attend court to account for her means: in other words, to explain and evidence why she really couldn’t afford to pay £45.04 even in instalments.

The court duly granted me an order requiring Jack to attend Southend County Court to explain why she couldn’t afford to pay the CCJ, or risk being sent to prison for contempt of court. This order further added court costs of £59 to the CCJ, bringing it up to £104.64.

The order requiring Jack to attend court

This was served on her in person at her house by a professional process server on 26th May 2023 at 13:55. This is also where I obtained her publicly available phone number (allegedly used for business purposes) because the first time the process server attended a week prior, she wasn’t in and called them back to ask about paying me, which they then passed to me. She was advised that payment information was available on the order she was served with.

This phone number would come in handy after she doxxed me the following month.

A copy of the affidavit of service

Getting doxxed

On 2nd June 2023 at approximately 2pm, Jack decided to doxx me from the details she’d been given on the numerous bits of paperwork issued by the court on my behalf. This is also the Tweet in which she spuriously claimed to have had the money ready for me in an envelope at one of her talks (that I did not attend) and also lied and said I had repeatedly contacted the organisers of the festival, when in fact I had only contacted them once.

Jack’s tweet doxxing me

My sole email to the Cambridge Literary Festival

I was not aware that she had doxxed me because she had blocked me this whole time, so I never saw the Tweet until my followers notified me of it. I then promptly called her on the work number that the process server gave me (and I later discovered her mentioning it publicly online) and asked her to take her Tweet down.

Oddly enough, she wasn’t quite as brave as she likes to portray online and immediately apologised and agreed to delete the Tweet, before then turning around and threatening me that I “won’t get what [I] want from this” and that she will absolutely refuse to attend the court hearing and will instead ambush me outside the court and force me to accept payment. I found this somewhat alarming given her tone of voice, and reiterated her payment options. She asked me for my bank details but, given that I’d just been doxxed and didn’t know what she’d do with my bank details, I politely declined.

Attending the court hearing

On the 14th June 2023 at 2PM I attended Southend County Court to witness Jack Monroe being questioned as per the order the court had issued. Approximately a few minutes before 2PM, Jack emailed the court to tell them the following:

  1. That she would not be attending the court hearing because I had been harassing her.
  2. That she had been advised by the court itself and the police not to attend.

In case it’s not obvious, it is entirely fanciful to imagine that the court will tell a debtor to defy the order that the court itself issued requiring the debtor to attend or risk being potentially imprisoned for contempt of court. It simply does not happen. The police may well have told her not to attend (although this also seems doubtful) but that would do nothing to purge the contempt she would commit by failing to turn up without good cause.

When the court read this email after first going to look for her in case she’d gotten lost, they were furious. She was referred for a contempt of court hearing before a District Judge where she was later found to be in contempt for failing to attend without good cause and failing to notify the court in a timely manner. However, given that by then the matter was settled as she had paid me, and it was the first time in this specific matter, she was not referred for any further punishment.

Here she is in her own words, after failing to attend the court hearing:

You have probably heard by now that I did not attend the court hearing today. This was following the recorded, direct, specific advice of the courts. I have proactively consulted with and communicated with the courts and Police, kept extensive records of communication, and made several attempts to pay the litigator long before today, of which I also have clear and true records.

I am fully aware of the potential consequences of my decision, and have faith that justice will be done - and that the truth will out.

Jack’s tweet about her not attending court

I was asked by the court to provide a statement to the District Judge for consideration in any contempt of court hearing, which I duly obliged:

My email to the District Judge

She finally pays me

On 27th June 2023, Jack finally paid me the money she owed me. Specifically, £425 (made up of £104.64 plus my accrued costs of £320.36). This settled the matter in full and I told the court as much:

My email to the court settling the claim

The summary so far

So, after all of this, what have we learned so far? Well, we know that Jack had no intention of giving me what I’d paid for or refunding me. She intended to keep my money until the bitter end. Defying multiple court orders to do so, until she ultimately had no choice but to pay me.

This is clear evidence that, even though she unwillingly paid me in the end, she acted very much the same way a scammer would: denying their victim what they paid for, refusing to give the money back, etc.

I’d say, on the balance of evidence, that she is certainly acting like a fraud, a liar, and a thief so far.

Her Patreon takings get leaked

There was little activity for me to chase up on (except for a joke about suing her for issuing bad advice on using Air Fryers in an ill-advised campaign with Currys in October 2023) until 13th December 2023 when her Patreon takings were leaked to me.

These revealed the full scale of her Patreon grift and provided an interesting contrast to what she was saying publicly at the time, begging for money while earning what most people would consider a healthy income (remember: she still wasn’t delivering goods or issuing refunds!)

It also exposed her lies about delivering any of the goods she’d promised, or issuing refunds. Messages from supporters asking for refunds went unread and unanswered.

The leaked data can be accessed on Google Sheets:

In January 2022, she made over £10,000 in a single month:

January 2022 takings on Patreon

She had over 100 ignored messages:

Over 100 unread messages on Patreon

In July 2022, she claimed to be in poverty, needing to boil down soap to make shower gel and having unscrewed her lightbulbs and replaced them with solar lamps as she couldn’t afford to run them any more. In reality, she earned just under £3,000.

Her July 2022 earnings from Patreon

An extract from a blog post in July 2022 where she claims to be in poverty

She couldn’t wait to delete that particular post. It’s now gone from her website. Fortunately, an archived copy was made.

The blog post has been deleted

This leak fundamentally underscored how dishonest she’d been with everyone over the past 6 years. From lying about how much she earned on a monthly basis, claiming it to be less than £1,000/month, to actively pleading about how terrible her life was while she raked it in.

Indeed, she continues to rake it in. Her Patreon is still active and earns about £1,200 a month as of December 2023. She’s made no apology for failing to send out the goods her subscribers are expecting, no mention of closing the Patreon down, no mention of shifting to a more sustainable way of earning income (e.g. making it just donations, or delivering only digital goods), and most importantly, no apology for egregiously lying about her poverty while raking in just under £3,000.


So, is she a fraud, a liar, a thief? Yes. I do think she is a fraud, a liar, a thief based on my investigation into everything mentioned above. And I think that because of her documented behaviour in handling a £10 refund, her refusal to pay it back, her spitefulness in doxxing me, and the documented evidence of her Patreon earnings contrasted with her (since-deleted) publicly available blog posts and other posts about how poverty-stricken she was. She lied, and defrauded, and stole from people to fund her extravagant lifestyle while claiming to be on the breadline and refusing to honour her contracts with her Patreon customers.

Stop giving her money. She doesn’t need it. She preys on your instinctive reactions to hearing about someone in a terrible situation (like being unable to afford shower gel or to turn the lights on) and don’t you know she has a child! and lies about her finances and her circumstances to emotionally manipulate you into giving small sums (or large ones) that soon add up. Far from being the poverty-stricken single mum of one, she’s actually rich enough to be able to buy expensive goods that you could probably only dream of: Tiffany earrings, Cotswold sideboards, etc.

There’s a whole forensic inventory of things she’s bought. Read that, and then think critically about if she needs your money because she’s so poor.

She is a grifter. She’s been exposed. She now has the honour of being the first entry on Grift Watch.

Thank you for reading.

P.S. Do check out Tattle for more information on her. There’s over 500 threads (more than half a million posts, sorry) but it’s fascinating reading.