Former Eggheads quiz show star CJ de Mooi has taken to Twitter to reveal he is ‘dying of AIDS’ and faces being homeless.
CJ de Mooi’s Struggling Health
On Easter Sunday, the 49-year-old, whose real name is Joseph Connagh, claimed he had had AIDS for three decades but may not have long to live in the wake of mounting financial difficulties.
‘I’ve been living with AIDS for 30 years but the agony of the last 3 years means I may not have many left.
‘I’m outwardly healthy, still running and am staying positive I can get better.
‘Thank you all for your love and if I can do anything to help any of you, please just ask. CJ.’
Pinned to the top of CJ’s Twitter is a link to a GoFundMe page, which aims to raise £15k. At the time of writing, the total was at £3,832. A tweet that appeared on the account five hours later was written by someone named ‘Joe’ and appeared to be updating CJ’s followers on the situation.
‘Thank you so much to everyone who donated, commented, retweeted or sent support.’
CJ, who lives with his husband of three years Andrew Doran in Caldicot, Monmouthshire, filed for bankruptcy last September amid mounting debts. The quiz show star had faced spiralling legal fees while fighting extradition to the Netherlands over claims he murdered a homeless man in Amsterdam in 1988 – charges which were later dropped by the British courts.
On 21st April 2019, the TV star thanked fans for their support, adding:
‘I hope I can return the love and positivity you’ve shown me.’
He said he was due to start a course of hospital treatment tomorrow and urged well-wishers to ‘get out and enjoy the weather.’
CJ de Mooi’s History
De Mooi, who was a panellist on the cult hit BBC Two quiz show for more than a decade, sparked a flurry of headlines when his autobiography was published in 2015.
He described being confronted by a knifeman whom he attacked and threw into one of Amsterdam’s famous canals when he was a penniless teenager in 1988. Describing the man as a knife-wielding mugger, he wrote in his autobiography: ‘He caught me on the wrong day and I just snapped.
‘I punched him so hard in the face, knocked the knife out of his hand and threw him in the canal. I fully suspect I killed him. I’ve no idea what happened to him.’
In May 2016, Dutch authorities said Mr Connagh was wanted for alleged ‘murder, manslaughter and assault’ and he was arrested at London Heathrow Airport. But the warrant was torn up at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in October 2016.
His lawyer Chris Stevens said at the time: ‘There doesn’t appear to be a named victim in the warrant, date of birth or even an address where this matter took place.’
Dutch authorities later dropped the extradition attempt but de Mooi was left in serious financial trouble and filed bankruptcy paperwork last September.
He has also alleged that he was sacked from Eggheads in 2016 on the same day claims he sexually assaulted a man on a night out in Glasgow were dropped.
Now de Mooi, has claimed his house is being possessed and he is worried about being made homeless.
He added on Twitter: ‘You are amazing as is the £3348.72 raised for CJ so far. If he somehow manages to save his house, it will all be repaid or go to charity. Joe ❤️.’
Earlier tweets, also posted by Joe, read: ‘CJ is, unsurprisingly, feeling down but always has the sanctuary of running which I believe has literally been a life saver for him.
‘Thank you as ever for your support and we both wish you a very happy Sunday. Joe.’
Another read: ‘I beg you to watch CJ’s short video, listen to his interview, comment and please RT. He is dying and we are desperate to get the truth out.’
This referenced an interview the TV personality took part in with Iain Lee – who appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2017 and is an advocate for mental health – on talkRADIO, in which he opened up about his problems.
Last month, de Mooi kept his Twitter followers updated on his struggles, posting: ‘The bankruptcy trustee ignores my questions.
‘A man lied and destroyed my life but is protected, so as not to dissuade genuine accusers.
‘My house is being possessed to compensate his solicitors. I’ve broken no law but am being made homeless. Nobody will help me. Is this justice?’
Following messages of support, he then added that he had spoken to a specialist insolvency solicitor who was optimistic that he could save the house.
De Mooi said: ‘It will still cost a lot of money but at least I have a glimmer of hope.’
De Mooi became a panellist on Eggheads, which features five quiz champions competing as a team against different challengers, in 2003.
Originally from Rotherham, he has revealed how he ran away from home at the age of 17 following an abusive childhood and became homeless.
A spokesman for the star told MailOnline: ‘CJ’s current case has nothing to do with the murder arrest in 2017 which was thrown out when the Dutch prosecutor admitted “embarrassing errors” and it became clear CJ had never written anything about killing anyone. It was a lie written on his Wikipedia page but neither the judge nor police checked his book to verify.
He declared bankruptcy in 2018 due to opposing solicitors trying to recoup costs relating to the false allegation of sexual assault made against CJ in 2016.
The firm put in a claim against his only asset, the home owned with his husband, and is trying to force a sale. They are aware that CJ is very seriously ill so are apparently trying to force this through quickly. It is noted that the BBC suspended CJ on the very day he was questioned by police and fired him on the very day he was cleared of all suspicion.
He has not worked since so has no savings and his only income is a disability benefit. It has been confirmed by a QC that at no point in the last three years since the case began has CJ broken the law or committed any offence whatsoever.
What Is AIDS And HIV?
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By damaging your immune system, HIV interferes with your body’s ability to fight the organisms that cause disease.
HIV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can also be spread by contact with infected blood or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding. Without medication, it may take years before HIV weakens your immune system to the point that you have AIDS.
There is no cure for HIV/AIDS, but there are medications that can dramatically slow the progression of the disease. These drugs have reduced AIDS deaths in many developed nations.
Symptoms Of HIV And AIDS
The symptoms of HIV and AIDS vary, depending on the phase of infection.
Primary infection (Acute HIV)
Most people infected by HIV develop a flu-like illness within a month or two after the virus enters the body. This illness, known as primary or acute HIV infection, may last for a few weeks. Possible signs and symptoms include:
- Muscle aches and joint pain
- Sore throat and painful mouth sores
- Swollen lymph glands, mainly on the neck
These symptoms can be so mild that you might not even notice them. However, the amount of virus in your bloodstream (viral load) is quite high at this time. As a result, the infection spreads more easily during primary infection than during the next stage.
Clinical latent infection (Chronic HIV)
In some people, persistent swelling of lymph nodes occurs during this stage. Otherwise, there are no specific signs and symptoms. HIV remains in the body and in infected white blood cells.
This stage of HIV infection generally lasts around 10 years if you’re not receiving antiretroviral therapy. But sometimes, even with this treatment, it lasts for decades. Some people develop more severe disease much sooner.
Symptomatic HIV infection
As the virus continues to multiply and destroy your immune cells — the cells in your body that help fight off germs — you may develop mild infections or chronic signs and symptoms such as:
- Swollen lymph nodes — often one of the first signs of HIV infection
- Weight loss
- Oral yeast infection (thrush)
- Shingles (herpes zoster)
- Progression to AIDS
Thanks to better antiviral treatments, most people with HIV in the U.S. today do not develop AIDS. Untreated, HIV typically turns into AIDS in about 10 years.
When AIDS occurs, your immune system has been severely damaged. You will be more likely to develop opportunistic infections or opportunistic cancers the diseases that would not usually trouble a person with a healthy immune system.
The signs and symptoms of some of these infections may include:
- Soaking night sweats
- Recurring fever
- Chronic diarrhea
- Persistent white spots or unusual lesions on your tongue or in your mouth
- Persistent, unexplained fatigue
- Weight loss
- Skin rashes or bumps
AIDS And HIV: When To Consult A Doctor
If you think you may have been infected with HIV or are at risk of contracting the virus, see a health care provider as soon as possible.
AIDS And HIV: Causes
HIV is caused by a virus. It can spread through sexual contact or blood, or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding.
How does HIV become AIDS?
HIV destroys CD4 T cells which is the white blood cells that play a large role in helping your body fight disease. The fewer CD4 T cells you have, the weaker your immune system becomes.
You can have an HIV infection for years before it turns into AIDS. AIDS is diagnosed when the CD4 T cell count falls below 200 or you have an AIDS-defining complication.
How HIV Transmit?
To become infected with HIV, infected blood, semen or vaginal secretions must enter your body. This can happen in several ways:
By having sex
You may become infected if you have vaginal, anal or oral sex with an infected partner whose blood, semen or vaginal secretions enter your body. The virus can enter your body through mouth sores or small tears that sometimes develop in the rectum or vagina during sexual activity.
From blood transfusions
In some cases, the virus may be transmitted through blood transfusions. American hospitals and blood banks now screen the blood supply for HIV antibodies, so this risk is very small.
By sharing needles
Sharing contaminated intravenous drug paraphernalia (needles and syringes) puts you at high risk of HIV and other infectious diseases, such as hepatitis.
During pregnancy or delivery or through breast-feeding
Infected mothers can pass the virus on to their babies. HIV-positive mothers who get treatment for the infection during pregnancy can significantly lower the risk to their babies.
How HIV Does Not Transmit?
You cannot become infected with HIV through ordinary contact. That means you cannot catch HIV or AIDS by hugging, kissing, dancing or shaking hands with someone who has the infection.
HIV is not spread through the air, water or insect bites.
AIDS And HIV: Risk factors
When HIV/AIDS first appeared in the United States, it mainly affected men who had sex with men. However, now it’s clear that HIV also spreads through heterosexual sex.
Anyone of any age, race, sex or sexual orientation can be infected. However, you’re at greatest risk of HIV/AIDS if you:
Have unprotected sex
Use a new latex or polyurethane condom every time you have sex. Anal sex is more risky than is vaginal sex. Your risk of HIV increases if you have multiple sexual partners.
Have an STI
Many STIs produce open sores on your genitals. These sores act as doorways for HIV to enter your body.
Use intravenous drugs
People who use intravenous drugs often share needles and syringes. This exposes them to droplets of other people’s blood.
Are an uncircumcised man.
Studies suggest that lack of circumcision increases the risk of heterosexual transmission of HIV.
AIDS And HIV: Complications
HIV infection weakens your immune system, making you much more likely to develop numerous infections and certain types of cancers.
Infections common to HIV/AIDS
In resource-limited nations, TB is the most common opportunistic infection associated with HIV. It’s a leading cause of death among people with AIDS.
This common herpes virus is transmitted in body fluids such as saliva, blood, urine, semen and breast milk. A healthy immune system inactivates the virus, and it remains dormant in your body. If your immune system weakens, the virus resurfaces — causing damage to your eyes, digestive tract, lungs or other organs.
Candidiasis is a common HIV-related infection. It causes inflammation and a thick, white coating on the mucous membranes of your mouth, tongue, esophagus or vagina.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes and fluid surrounding your brain and spinal cord (meninges). Cryptococcal meningitis is a common central nervous system infection associated with HIV, caused by a fungus found in soil.
This potentially deadly infection is caused by Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite spread primarily by cats. Infected cats pass the parasites in their stools, which may then spread to other animals and humans. Seizures occur when it spreads to the brain.
This infection is caused by an intestinal parasite that’s commonly found in animals. You get it when you eat or drink contaminated food or water. The parasite grows in your intestines and bile ducts, leading to severe, chronic diarrhea in people with AIDS.
Cancers common to HIV/AIDS
A tumor of the blood vessel walls, this cancer is rare in people not infected with HIV, but common in HIV-positive people. It usually appears as pink, red or purple lesions on the skin and mouth. In people with darker skin, the lesions may look dark brown or black. Kaposi’s sarcoma can also affect the internal organs, including the digestive tract and lungs.
This cancer starts in the white blood cells. The most common early sign is painless swelling of the lymph nodes in your neck, armpit or groin.
Aggressive treatment approaches have reduced the number of cases of wasting syndrome, but it still affects many people with AIDS. It’s defined as a loss of at least 10 percent of body weight, often accompanied by diarrhea, chronic weakness and fever.
Although AIDS does not appear to infect the nerve cells, it can cause neurological symptoms such as confusion, forgetfulness, depression, anxiety and difficulty walking. One of the most common neurological complications is AIDS dementia complex, which leads to behavioral changes and reduced mental functioning.
HIV-associated nephropathy (HIVAN) is an inflammation of the tiny filters in your kidneys that remove excess fluid and wastes from your blood and pass them to your urine. It most often affects blacks or Hispanics. Anyone with this complication should be started on antiretroviral therapy.
AIDS And HIV: Prevention
There’s no vaccine to prevent HIV infection and no cure for AIDS. But you can protect yourself and others from infection.
To help prevent the spread of HIV:
Use a new condom every time you have sex
Use a new condom every time you have anal or vaginal sex. Women can use a female condom. If using lubricant, make sure it’s water-based. Oil-based lubricants can weaken condoms and cause them to break. During oral sex use a nonlubricated, cut-open condom or a dental dam which is a piece of medical-grade latex.
Consider the drug Truvada
The drug emtricitabine-tenofovir (Truvada) can reduce the risk of sexually transmitted HIV infection in people at very high risk. You need to take it every day. It doesn’t prevent other STIs, so you’ll still need to
practice safe sex
If you have hepatitis B you should be evaluated by an infectious disease or liver specialist before beginning therapy. You will need a blood test to check your kidney function before taking this drug.
Tell your sexual partners if you have HIV
It’s important to tell all your current and past sexual partners that you’re HIV-positive. They’ll need to be tested.
Use a clean needle
If you use a needle to inject drugs, make sure it’s sterile and don’t share it. Take advantage of needle-exchange programs in your community and consider seeking help for your drug use.
If you’re pregnant, get medical care right away
If you’re HIV-positive, you may pass the infection to your baby. But if you receive treatment during pregnancy, you can cut your baby’s risk significantly.
Consider male circumcision
There’s evidence that male circumcision can help reduce a man’s risk of getting HIV infection.