Why no one, including celebrities like Scarlett Moffatt should have to face on-line abuse, says Catherine Scott

The vitriol celebrities suffer at the hands of social media trolls is once again in the headlines this week.

Scarlett Moffatt turned to the Samaritans after abuse on social media about the way she looks. Pictured at the 2019 Attitude Awards in London (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)

Scarlett Moffatt, Gogglebox star and 2016 winner of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!, has revealed that attacks on social media made her think ‘I can’t do this any more’ and she even contacted Samaritans using a fake name.

The 30-year-old, who is now an ambassador for Samaritans, appeared on BBC Breakfast during Mental Health Awareness Week to recall how she sought help from the mental health charity.

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“I would get a lot of trolling about the way that I looked, specifically about my weight, about being very slim. Then I got bigger and people didn’t like that,” recalls Moffatt.

Scarlett Moffatt attends the National Television Awards held at the O2 Arena on January 22, 2019 in London (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

“People saying, ‘you should just go and kill yourself, I shouldn’t have to look at you on my TV’.

After reaching her lowest point, Moffatt called the Samaritans’ hotline, which prompted her to seek help from her GP. Fortunately, Moffatt had the courage to seek help before it was too late. But there have been more tragic consequences for others.

The death of TV personality Caroline Flack in February last year shone a light on the level of online abuse being suffered by some celebrities. And in an emotional documentary, Jesy Nelson, the former Little Mix star, revealed how she had attempted suicide in 2013 as a result of social media trolls.

It seems unbelievable that these anonymous bullies can hide behind fake names and abuse people to the point of them wanting to take their own lives with absolutely no come back.

These are the types of people who would not have the courage to say such vile things to people’s faces yet because it is on Twitter, or Instagram, or another platform, they feel they have the right. They do not.

Social media companies claim they are taking action – which is long overdue – and yet this type of abuse continues.

Most recently the Duchess of Cambridge was subjected to abuse after the Oprah Winfrey interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was aired.

You may feel that people shouldn’t read what these trolls say – but, as we are tragically aware, that isn’t always possible.

Happily, Scarlett Moffatt has managed to get help and says she is enjoying life again with ‘my little dog and my boyfriend and my friends and family.’ “I just love life. I feel like I am the old Scarlett again, the 18-year-old Scarlett that was carefree. I feel like I am that girl again.”

And why shouldn’t she?

Samaritans free of charge on 116 123 (UK and Ireland) or visit www.samaritans.org