X Factor’s Wagner insists: ‘I’m no benefits cheat’

Wagner Carilho has spoken out against allegations that he has been falsely claiming incapacity benefits saying he’s no cheat.

Speaking for the first time since being eliminated from The X Factor last weekened, Wagner said: “I didn’t want to be a parasite on benefits. I spend the whole of 2009 applying for jobs and at the time I was 53 and go nowhere.”

According to The Mirror, the Brazilian singer is being investigated over payments of £91.40 a week in incapactity benefit for a shoulder injury.

He said: “I came to England in 1992 and until 2008 I never claimed a penny of benefits. That’s 16 years I was paying my taxes and didn’t have any benefits at all.”

Wagner said he only claimed after being told by a doctor that he could no longer work as a karate instructor or PE teacher.

He said he applied to The X Factor when cash dried up from small-time pub and club performances.

“I have always had money and had Porhces and Jaguars. Then one day I found myself walking in the rain with my arm in a sling for miles just to save bus fare – and I thought: ‘God please help me.’

“I told the Department for Work and Pensions every step of the way what I earned. It’s all absolutely legal.”

Wagner also spoke of his X Factor exit saying that campaigns for stars like Matt Cardle and Cher Lloyd were much bigger than his own, but he was still thankful for the opportunity.

“I have special thankfulness to Louis as I was his wildcard and Simon gave me so many compliments. I have achieved so much. I never dreamed I would come so far.

Wagner said he is going on tour – and his first gig is at Liquid nightclub in Maidstone, Kent, on Friday night.

He has also picked Rebecca to win this year’s competition, saying: “Rebecca is lovely – she is such a pure soul.”