Tat For Tits

Jodie Marsh is currently selling her most famous outfit on the online clothes store Depop for £6,000 – but the listing gave us a very strange sense of deja vu. We seem to remember her making a big deal out of selling them for charity in 2016 – raising an eye-popping £150,000. So how is she in a position to sell them again, for profit, a mere three years later? We decided to investigate…

Earlier this month, we – alongside many showbiz and celebrity sidebars of the British tabloids – highlighted a fun little story about how former glamour model Jodie Marsh was selling her infamous pair of crystal-encrusted tit belts on the online clothes shop Depop.

Stories about celebs flogging off their own memorabilia in order to make a quick quid are always grist to our mill. Whether it’s Paul from S Club 7 trying to shift his BRIT Awards, Paul Daniels selling off old tricks, or Rolf Harris trying to rekindle a market for his paintings post-prison, there’s not a weird celebrity auction going that we won’t write a hundred words on.

The Jodie Marsh tit belt story though? It’s somewhat snowballed.

While browsing through her Depop store this week we noticed that the crystal-encrusted ones weren’t the only set of belts that she had up for sale. In among all the lingerie sets, the high heels and the unwanted Blu-Rays, we saw another set. The other tit belts. The really famous ones. The army camouflage ones that got her plastered across all of pages of the red-tops.

The outfit that made her name.

She is currently selling those belts for £6,000. Six grand might seem like an awful lot to pay for what amounts to very little material, but it’s actually kind of a bargain. Because last time she tried to sell them – for charity, back in late 2016 – the same belts supposedly went for £150,000.

But how? you may ask. How could Jodie Marsh possibly be selling a pair of army camo tit belts that she already sold for charity for £150,000 two and a half years ago?

Yeah. We have to say, the thought occurred to us too – so we’re going to try to get to the barely-concealed bottom of it.

Setting Out The Stall

To clear up any confusion as to exactly which tit belts we’re talking about here, these are the ones we mean.

These are the ones that Jodie wore out one night to Funky Buddha in June 2003, close to the start of her career back when she was properly jostling for column inches with her rival, Jordan.

They are not to be confused for the crystal encrusted ones that she wore to an FHM party in 2004.

The crystal ones might have been the ones that first piqued our interest into this whole matter (also available on Depop; a relative snip at £2,000) but they are not the originals.

We are looking, specifically, at these ones.

Got it?

Jodie has, to the best of our research, tried to sell these particular belts on at least three separate occasions.

Once in 2012, shortly after joining Twitter and getting swept up in the chase for followers…

Again in 2016, when she got a huge amount of press by announcing she would be selling them in aid of a charity to which she had recently been appointed ambassador…

And now, in 2019, where she appears to be doing it for cold, hard profit.

What’s going on? Even one of history’s greatest conmen, Victor Lustig, found his luck running out after managing to sell the Eiffel Tower a second time. So how the hell has an amateur like Jodie Marsh managed to sell the same outfit three times – each time announcing it to great fanfare, yet no-one ever seeming to twig what was happening?

Let’s explore some theories.

Duplicate Sets?

The Occam’s Razor explanation of all of this is that, rather than set up a convoluted scheme in order to sell the same item of clothing three times, it’s much more likely that she has sold three separate (but similar) items – once each.

It wouldn’t be a difficult thing to do. Army camouflage is, by design, supposed to confuse the eye and cover things up, and the construction of those garments is not complicated. It would be easy for any tailor to quickly knock up a second (or third) pair which would fool the eye at quick glance.

But would it hold up to proper inspection? Let’s test it out.

There are clearly some pronounced differences between the three shots here (and Marsh hasn’t made it easy for us either, what with having no consistent habit regarding which belt covers which tit, or which way up she chooses to wear them).

The first and second shots (from 2003) undoubtedly show the same outfit. But the third picture (from the 2012 Twitter reprise) looks entirely wrong. Not only have the camo shorts/skirt been switched out for a simple pair of olive-coloured cotton pants and the armband been dropped to highlight her new tattoos, the colour scheme appears to have changed drastically.

No longer the standard muted colours of military camouflage, the 2012 belts seem to have a marked neon tinge, looking more like some sort of cheap knock-off Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume than a cheap, knock-off Jodie Marsh outfit.

Obviously, this could down to the lighting – so the best way to check for sure is by isolating the individual patterns of each belt and lining them up side by side.

Although the colours have changed depending on the intensity of the light source (pap flashes outside Funky Buddha; soft studio lighting for the tabloid shoot; home smartphone flash and living room lighting for Twitter) the patterns are clearly identical.

The markings also square with the pictures of the belts that Jodie has posted on both her eBay listings and her Depop store (the closest matches actually being the Funky Buddha picture and the most recent Depop listing…).

It therefore seems safe to assume that the garments she is putting up for auction each time are indeed all one and the same.

But we shouldn’t automatically take Jodie at her word, because – as will become clear – talk is very, very cheap.

Charity Scam?

Jodie Marsh did an absolutely astonishing amount for charity in 2012. However much you’re thinking she did, you can probably go ahead and double it. She did loads. Loads.

She released a bikes-and-bikinis calendar in support of the Essex Air Ambulance…

She went abseiling down the side of Canary Wharf in aid of Scope…

She went skydiving…

She modelled for PETA, led a charity bike ride, auctioned off kisses at wrestling events, donated the money that she would have spent on Christmas cards to charity instead. She gave away boxing training sessions. She took part in a charity boxing match. She donated at least 17 bags of clothes to charity shops – as well as drawing attention to a range of causes and fundraisers for other people.

Jodie Marsh did more for charity in 2012 then we have done in our entire lives – and yet there is one thing that she kept talking about that she evidently never quite got round to.

Evidently, she didn’t – which is fine. It’s not like anyone can accuse Jodie Marsh of not doing her fair share. When you have as rigorous a volunteering schedule as she does, it’s only to be expected that certain projects and pledges will slip through the gaps.

We can find no evidence that Jodie actually came through on her honourable intentions to auction these belts off in 2012 but the idea clearly struck her a second time in 2016, when she stuck them up on eBay.

An auction which still has a listing URL present on the site.

This auction got a lot of attention from the tabloid press, loudly declaring that Jodie Marsh was raising £150,000 for charity…


However, the belts – as we can see from her Depop page – are still very much in Jodie’s possession.

The request we put in to the charity to ask if they ever received any cash from the proceeds of this auction hasn’t been answered yet, but we can make a pretty solid guess. If Jodie still has the belts, then it’s a safe assumption that a transaction never took place.

Which means:
1/ She got all of this highly positive “£150,000 for charity!” publicity for free
2/ Something went wrong with the auction

But what?

Fake Bids?

As well as being good for tracking down old GameBoys, Panini albums and back issues of vintage grumble mags, the other thing that eBay is really good at is keeping lists of bid histories on various items.

Here’s the bid listing for Jodie Marsh’s 2016 foiled auction.

A total of eight people got involved, hoping to snap up these particular pieces of sexy army surplus. Unfortunately, eBay anonymises the usernames – and not a single one of them appears to be a recent eBay user – so we don’t have a huge amount of information on the individual users to work from.

However, as we can see from that screenshot, a lot of the back-and-forth seems to be between two users, before a third user comes in to place a winning bid a small fraction above their escalating prices.

This is a common eBay tactic. Users watch auctions from afar, not doing anything to bump the price unnecessarily, then diving in at the last minute and take advantage of the auction’s hard deadline – hoping to price people out just as the clock runs down and they can’t physically enter another bid before the automatic close of bids.

The practice is known as ‘sniping’ and it’s a perfectly legitimate way to bid (albeit a touch frustrating).

But that doesn’t seem to be what happened here.

Bidding started fairly normally on October 30th. A starting price of £200 was met, then a few people joined in tossing a couple of hundred quid amongst themselves – before user d***5 turns all Billy Big Balls and ramps it up to £2,000.

From that point on, the whole thing sprials out of all control. Two highly competitive bidders (t***a and n***n) spend the rest of that day ratcheting things up until the price reaches £150,000 exactly.

This is when a lot of those £100,000-£150,000 headlines start to pour in.

Then, completely out of the blue, a previously unknown user r****2 comes in to cap them off, chucking an extra £100 on to secure the top bid and wins the auction.

A classic case of sniping, right?

Except for the fact that user r***2 put their winning bid on November 1st – and the auction didn’t end until November 6th.

For nearly a week, no-one seemed to want to touch the item again. What happened to t***a and n****n? Suddenly not interested? £150,000 seemed like a decent price to pay but £150,100 was too rich for their blood?

Were they planning on sniping and missed the shot? Five days is a long time to prepare – especially given their previous enthusiasm for the item.

Or, was this all artificially inflated and orchestrated by a series of trolls?

This is sadly pretty common with celebrity auctions. We saw a similar thing when Abz from 5ive tried to sell his BRIT award. Things escalated. The press got wind of it. Ridiculous bids of £1,000,000 started getting placed for what is – with the greatest of respect to Abz – a fairly obscure 2000s pop memorabilia trinket. Abz started getting extremely excited. The press revisited the story with each big bid that came in.

And then? Nothing. It vanished.

But before we blame the shit-bidders of eBay for the collapse of her 2016 charity auction entirely, we have to ask if Jodie herself was completely blameless in all this.

Fraudulent Listings?

One of the things that Jodie has always been keen to impress upon any potential belt buyer is that those famous army tit belts of hers have never been washed.

Although such a claim might put certain buyers off, the germaphobe dollar isn’t particularly strong on eBay and Depop (certainly not compared with the almighty power of the pervert lobby) so it’s not necessarily a bad thing to highlight.

It’s feasible that the prospect of getting a few free dead nipple flakes with their purchase would inspire some rich young masturbator to hand over their cash. Yet so far the claim hasn’t done a great deal to secure a transaction. Why?

Are people repulsed by the idea of Jodie Marsh’s tit sweat? It’s possible, of course, but seems highly unlikely. So what can it be?

While it’s definitely true when Jodie says she has worn the belts three times (the original night in Funky Buddha; for the Sun photoshoot that same year; then for first failed attempt to sell it for charity in 2012) she isn’t quite telling us the full story with that.

It seems Jodie isn’t the only person to have worn the outfit. As evidenced by her very own Twitter feed, someone else has slipped into those togs. Her best friend, Dave Rainbird.

eBay has struggled in recent years with combatting rampant fraud. And while neglecting to mention that your friend has also been sweating up a storm in the outfit you’re trying to sell to definitely falls on the extremely light side of the scale, online transactions rely primarily on trust. Without face-to-face contact and sense of security that bricks-and-mortar retailers provide, internet sellers need to be impeccable in their approach.

If potential buyers catch sight of this sort of thing – publicly viewable on her Twitter timeline – what are they to think? It’s perfectly reasonable that someone willing to shell out £150,000 for Jodie Marsh memorabilia would have the right to retract their bid had they found out that some geezer was the most recent wearer.

It’s food for thought at least. But if Jodie Marsh is still struggling to sell these belts after seven years of trying, we’re afraid she may need to try a new angle.

She may need to wash them.