When former Shorty star Teuila Blakely shared a photo of herself and Warriors player Konrad Hurrell on Facebook earlier this month, she had no inkling of the wave of hateful, vicious comments that was about to head her way.
Shortly after posting the picture- taken when the two had bumped into each other at Auckland Airport - Teuila’s mobile phone went crazy with a flood of notifications. Online trolls had flocked to the Facebook post, leaving comment after comment taking aim at everything from the Kiwi star’s looks to her age.
“Do I feel like New Zealand’s most vilified woman? Yes, 100,000%. No one gets trolled as badly as I do,” she tells Woman’s Day.
“But I promise you, every time this happens, I come out stronger.”
Unfortunately, it’s not the first time the actress has had to face off against the cruel taunts of cyber bullies. Two years ago, when a sex tape involving Teuila and Konrad leaked online, the mother-of-one was again subjected to the public’s harsh judgement.
This time around, Teila decided to take matters into her own hands and filmed an expletive-laden video addressing her haters directly. While her language may have shocked some viewers, the star says she has no regrets about using “extreme” words for an extreme situation.
Now, Teuila is more determined than ever to stand up for herself and urges other Kiwis not to stay silent if they see bullying of any kind taking place.
“We can’t let the bullies win. If people fight the good fight, we can start to effect change in a positive way,” she says.
For the full story on Teuila’s brave battle against bullying, grab your copy of this week’s Woman’s Day.
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