MERSEYSIDE Police last night dismissed reports that former Brookside star Jennifer Ellison has been made a specific target in a long-running underworld feud.
It follows a series of incidents in which both Miss Ellison and her fiance, Tony Richardson (both pictured), have narrowly escaped gangland-style attacks.
However, last night police said they had spoken to Miss Ellison about the claims made yesterday and added there was no intelligence to suggest her life was under threat.
Unnamed city gangsters were reported as saying that Mr Richardson already has a £50,000 bounty on his head, allegedly put up by seven Liverpool gangs who have agreed to "loan" their best enforcers to the hit squads targeting him.
Yesterday's reports said that Miss Ellison was "next".
It was claimed that Ellison and the Richardson family have unwittingly been caught up in a turf war between up to 50 crime families and bogus "security firms" in Liverpool fighting for control of the lucrative cocaine and heroin market.
Superintendent Alan Cooper, from Liverpool North division, said last night: "We have no intelligence to suggest that there is a threat concerning the life of Miss Ellison.
"However, we have received information from a national newspaper to suggest this is the case, but we do not have any intelligence to provenance it.
"We did have a duty to speak to Miss Ellison about the claim and this has been done."
Last month, the brother of Jennifer Ellison's fiance was shot in a gangland-style attack in Liverpool which left one man dead and another critically injured.
Mark Richardson, brother of the singer's partner, Tony, was a passenger in a black Ford Galaxy which was riddled with bullets in Everton.
He suffered a slight back wound, but front seat passenger Craig Barker, 19 (right), was hit several times and died later at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, making him the 10th murder victim in Merseyside this year.
At the height of the underworld feud last autumn, shots were fired at the £150,000 Croxteth Park home of 21-year-old Ellison. A month later, a firework exploded under a car parked outside her home.
Although she later broke up with Tony Richardson, 24, a former sunbed salesman, the couple are now back together.
In February, three masked men launched a machete attack on a 4x4 vehicle containing Jennifer Ellison and Tony Richardson after they left The Place nightclub, on Victoria Street, owned by former soccer star John Aldridge. Neither was injured.
Ellison played Emily Shadwick in Brookside for five years before leaving to embark on a career as a pop singer.
She is to star with Minnie Driver in a new film version of Phantom of the Opera.
Last night, the singer's mother declined to comment on the alleged threats to her daughter's life.