HOLLY Willoughby reportedly left Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones “furious” after deciding to quit their lifestyle brand Truly just weeks before its launch.
The mum-of-three admitted earlier this week in a public Instagram post that she is too busy to juggle work with “family time” and pulled out of the deal.
She told business partner Jones, 52, during a tense meeting at his business headquarters in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, on Tuesday.
A source told the Mail on Sunday: “Truly was by far the top of Holly’s priorities. It was going to be her long-term future that would see her through the next couple of decades.
“Her decision to pull out left everyone involved absolutely stunned. Nobody could believe what was happening on Tuesday, it was so close to the launch.
“There is a warehouse full of goods at the Marlow HQ which are ready to be sold.”
A source close to Jones said: “We wouldn’t comment on his business affairs.”
The Sun’s Bizarre column revealed Holly told pals that she did not want the site to become Britain’s answer to Goop — Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand.
It comes after she signed up to replace Ant McPartlin on I’m A Celebrity, further putting pressure on her already manic schedule, and became the face of Marks and Spencer.
She already presents ITV’s This Morning daily with Phillip Schofield, 56, and is a panellist on Celebrity Juice alongside Fearne Cotton, also 37.
Holly will then front Dancing on Ice again when it returns in January.
She announced the news late on Tuesday evening, telling fans if she stuck with the project it would begin to “affect” her home life with TV producer husband Dan, 43.
A source close to Holly revealed: “It was a really tough decision for Holly, but it’s one that’s come quite late in the day. Truly was meant to launch in the next few weeks but at the 11th hour she’s said she could no longer be a part of it.
“It will mean the whole launch will now be pushed back until next year, which is a major headache.”
The company is a venture between Peter, his wife Tara, 45, and Holly’s sister Kelly, 40 — who are all directors of the firm.
But Holly will now step away from the project entirely despite announcing the news to huge fanfare.
A source added: “It’s about what’s best for her family. It was a hard decision but the right one for Holly and her husband Dan.
“She’d done a load of publicity around the launch of it just weeks ago. So it was a real last minute decision.”
Truly was initially billed as the British equivalent of Goop, offering readers advice on home, fashion, baby, wellness, living and travel.
In her full online post, she wrote: “After much consideration, I have made the decision to step away from Truly.
“To launch a brand needs total dedication and at the moment, with so many other commitments, this is not something I feel I can do without it starting to affect my family time at home. I wish Truly all the success for the future.”
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