George Michael Secretly Funded IVF Treatments for Woman After Hearing Her Story on Morning TV
When Maidment had a miscarriage after her first round of IVF, she received flowers from her anonymous donor
In an appearance on ITV’s This Morning Tuesday, viewer Jo Maidment revealed that her daughter was born with the help of a donation from the pop star — who identified himself only as a “businessman” — to pay for IVF treatments after she appeared on the show to talk about her struggles with fertility.
“I came on in 2010, and I was in contact with Denise [Robertson] who also felt very strongly about it, so that’s why we came on to talk about it,” Maidment explained. “And I was home for two days and got a phone call from a PA saying a businessman would like to donate some money for one cycle of IVF for you. I didn’t believe it at first… And it took me a good few days to respond because that wasn’t what I came on the show for, I wanted to help other people in my position. But then we agreed to it, because [the PA] said it was what this particular man wanted.”
When Maidment had a miscarriage after her first round of IVF, she received flowers from her anonymous donor.
The viewer tried another round of IVF with frozen eggs from the first cycle and got pregnant. In 2012, she welcomed her daughter Betsy — and found out who her mysterious benefactor was.
“It was a couple of days after we came home with Betsy and we had loads of cards and flowers, and there was a massive bouquet of flowers that came and I read the card that said, ‘Congratulations to you both. Lots of love to Betsy. Love from Michelle and George Michael (AKA Anonymous) xx,'” said Maidment. “Me and my husband read it hundreds of times to believe it.”
According to Maidment, only a handful of people from the show knew about Michael’s involvement in the “miracle baby,” but with the singer’s family’s permission, she is now sharing the story.
“Betsy is now 4 and a half,” Maidment said. “I was really upset when I found out [George had died] because I can never thank him personally and he never got to meet her. Betsy will know when she’s old enough.”
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Following Michael’s death, British TV presenter Richard Osman revealed on Twitter that the singer paid for another woman’s IVF treatment in secret.
“A woman on ‘Deal Or No Deal’ told us she needed £15k for IVF treatment,” Osman wrote in a tweet. “George Michael secretly phoned the next day and gave her the £15k.”
Osman did not reveal the woman’s identity. The treatment would amount to $18,435.
Michael died of heart failure and was found in his home on Christmas Day, his rep confirmed to PEOPLE. He was 53.