THE My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding star who died with his twin in a suspected “suicide pact” spoke of “money issues” before his tragic death.
A pal who used to work on gardening jobs with the Smith brothers said Billy revealed he was “several hundred pounds in debt” about three months ago.
Billy and Joe Smith, both 32, had been battling depression before their heartbroken uncle found them in a tree in woodland, close to a farm, in rural Kent on Saturday morning.
Their family has been left reeling after the pair – who had vowed to stay together until the end – died suddenly.
Vincent Taylor spoke from the spot where the brothers died today, saying: “They were doing some gardening work for the council which also involved delivering plastic sacks and I was clearing away leaves alongside them.
“I remember one of them saying he had money worries. I think it was Billy who told me he was several hundred pounds in debt and a member of his family had had to bail him out.
“He also said the money from working for the council wasn’t enough to pay his debts so he had to get another job. I spoke to him about three months ago and he was a bit down about it all.”
A family member today told The Sun Online Joey, a dad of a nine-year-old boy, had been diagnosed with cancer but was given the all clear before his death.
She said: “He was waiting for a letter to see if it had come back or if he had the all clear.
“They told the family it was all clear but they thought maybe he was lying to not hurt them.
“They have since found the letter and he did have the all clear. No one can get their heads around it.”
She added: “There’s questions that are never going to be answered. It’s a torment.”
Family members said they had previously flagged concerns the pair were struggling with depression.
The family of the Big Fat Gypsy Wedding stars also claimed that a note was found by the pair’s body on Saturday, saying they “wanted it like this”.
Phoebe Charleen Smith, a cousin, told the Telegraph: “Joey had cancer, and Billy told him ‘I’d never be able to live without you’.
“Joey told the family he got the all-clear after chemo two months ago, but we don’t know if that’s true now.
“They went missing, and Joey’s phone was turned off. Then we found a note. It said that they wanted it like this, and we would find them in the woods where they played with the family years ago.”
Tragically, just two weeks before their death, the brothers had been filmed singing and dancing to Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You.
The brothers had first featured on Channel 4 throughout 2013.
One episode followed them during a gardening shift in Kent, where they discussed the traveller lifestyle before getting married.
But friends and family have been left reeling by the deaths, with police closing the lane in an isolated area of Sevenoaks, Kent, following the incident.
Bouquets of flowers, including pink roses, have been laid at the scene where the twins are thought to have taken their own lives, which is around half a mile from Joe’s home.
Among tributes paid to the twins, Billy’s partner Kristina, from Cheltenham, wrote on Facebook: “Hardest day of my life. RIP my perfect Bill you were so pure so lovely.
“You made me the happiest girl. Did everything for me showed me love i never had you always see stuff like this but you just never think it’ll happen to you.
“I can’t believe I have to type this together struggling to speak never mind put a sentence together, I’m gonna make you so so proud my bill, my life, my angel.”
Big Brother and Gypsy Wedding star Paddy Doherty also paid tribute and posted a video calling the brothers “angels”.
He wrote: “RIP PLEASE PRAY FOR THESE TWO DEAR SOULS God rest rest them in peace.
“Two good looking boys, God bless their souls… That’s a terrible, terrible tragedy…
“There’s always worse than yourself… Pray for the boys’ family, the boys’ mother and father, help them be strong and get through this…
“I’m very very sorry for your troubles. Anyone watching this please say a prayer for those left behind…
“May God look after them… They are two angels… They’re in the kingdom of heaven walking on gold.”
The brothers had recently celebrated their birthday on December 16.
Pal Jane Chippendale tearfully told the Mirror: “I’m still in shock. It doesn’t make sense. Their clothes are hanging up in my wash room.
“They were like sons when they were here. They were so identical. It was hard to tell them apart.”
A friend on Facebook wrote: “The love they had for one another. They couldn’t live without one another.”
Another added: “Born together and left the earth together.”
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A Kent Police spokesman said: “Inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the deaths are ongoing but they are not currently being treated as suspicious.
He added: “The next of kin of both men are aware and are being kept updated.”
An inquest into the deaths is likely to be held in the New Year.
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