Watch: Tom and Giovanna Fletcher apologise for 'huge error in judgement' over furlough use
They shared identical statements to Instagram to address the matter after a report from The Sun at the weekend said they had received up to £30,000 from the taxpayer-funded scheme.
The couple claimed that while parts of the article and all figures mentioned were "inaccurate", they had indeed made a "mistake" in not financing it themselves and have paid it back in full.
The joint statement posted on Tuesday read: "Hi everyone, we’ve always had a very honest and open relationship with you all on here so we thought it was important to address questions that some of you have rightly asked us in the last 24 hours.
“This weekend there was an article in one of the Sunday papers about us using the government furlough scheme. While parts of the article were inaccurate (including all of the figures mentioned), it is true that we did follow financial advice to furlough someone we employ.”
The parents-of-three said the furlough cash was used for a staff member who “couldn’t carry out their role due to the pandemic” and the scheme was suggested as “the most effective way to give them job stability and security”.
The statement added: “Although it was a time of great uncertainty, we clearly should have thought more about the situation and funded it ourselves.
“It was a huge error of judgment and a mistake we wholeheartedly take responsibility for and we have paid the full amount back.”
Author and podcast host Giovanna won the latest series of I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! while her husband has enjoyed a successful music career as part of McFly and McBusted, and has penned several books himself.
With additional reporting by PA.
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