Katie Price says trolling has gotten worse and affected her mental health: ‘I’m allowed to be insecure’

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It’s been a year since new magazine launched their #TurnOffTrolls campaign to highlight the issue of online bullying and help stomp it out. Within the past 12 months, a huge number of celebrities have thrown their support behind new’s campaign and shared their own experiences of trolling.

Katie Price was one of the first stars to speak out, telling new at the time she finds negative comments “incredibly hurtful”. And when new catch up with her for the campaign’s one-year anniversary, she says there’s still a long way to go for change.

“I try not to let trolling get to me, but I do struggle with my mental health,” she tells new. “Mental health is a massive thing and I’m not going to sit back. It’s important to speak up.”

Earlier this month, Katie was forced to hit back and defend her relationship with boyfriend Carl Woods after she was branded a “sl*g” by keyboard warriors. And following her serious injury in July, which left her wheelchair-bound with two broken feet, the 42-year-old received cruel comments from people who accused her of faking her accident.

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But it’s not just Katie who is targeted by online abuse. Her eldest son Harvey, 18, who is partially blind, autistic and suffers from Prader-Willi syndrome, has also been subjected to relentless bullying – and, sadly, she tells new it’s become worse.

Katie created Harvey’s Law in 2017 to make online trolling a criminal offence, which won the backing of a parliamentary committee. She explains they’re still waiting for it to be finalised, but is hoping to be back in parliament later this year.

Here, Katie, who is also mum to Junior, 15, Princess, 13, Jett, seven, and Bunny, six, opens up about responding to haters, feeling insecure and putting a stop to trolling once and for all…

It’s been a year since you first backed new's #TurnOffTrolls campaign, Katie. Has much changed for you?

I would say it’s got worse. Now I’m with Carl, the trolling has become bad. I don’t think people like to see others happy.

You recently hit back at trolls who called you a “s**g” on Instagram. How do comments like that make you feel?

I just thought, “You know what? I’m going to stick up for myself!” What have I done to be called a s**g? Someone commented on one of my posts saying that I’ve had more men than hot dinners. I actually haven’t! People forget that I’ve been married three times and I actually haven’t been with that many guys.

Do you think it helps when you respond to trolls?

The more I get trolled, the more I’m going to stick up for myself. I could hit back at a lot more but I choose not to. But sometimes I feel like I have to. For example, this guy left a nasty comment about Carl, so we went on his Instagram page and I exposed him. And then he started saying it was out of order because he was getting comments from my followers. But it’s like, don’t write something negative in the beginning then. And if you don’t like someone, don’t follow them.

You’ve also been trolled about your broken feet…

Yeah. People are saying that I’m doing it to make money and accusing me of faking it. I’m a human being and when I’m going through shit and I’m in a wheelchair and I realise I can’t walk, it’s horrible. Why would I fake breaking my feet for publicity? Now that people have seen the scars on my feet, I think they’ve realised how bad it is. I’ve also had a lot of hate from people in wheelchairs because I said that I felt like Carl wouldn’t fancy me in a wheelchair. But that’s how I feel. I’m not saying people who are in wheelchairs shouldn’t be fancied, I’m saying I’m in a new relationship and he met me how I was before, so why would he fancy me like this? I’m allowed to be insecure. I feel like I’ve lost my independence a bit.

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How does Carl deal with the trolling you receive?

He’s amazing. He sticks up for me. He abuses them back. He thinks if they want to give it, then he’ll give it to them back. But they don’t like it because they’ve been called out, so they backtrack and apologise.

What’s the worst thing a troll has ever said to you?

Things like I haven’t brought the kids up properly or why would they want a mum like me. It’s like, you don’t know anything about me. I’m a working mum-of-five. If anything, people should be saying that I’m inspiring.

Why do you think people troll?

Some people just have so much hatred. I think they’re jealous, so they feel like they have to troll you. But with Harvey, he gets trolled all the time. It hasn’t changed – it’s probably got a little bit worse. On the flip side, he has so many lovers, but a lot of people just want to take the mickey out of him. It’s like, are you that unhappy that you feel like you have to pull someone else down?

What impact does the trolling have on Harvey?

It’s awful, but he’s not aware of any comments he gets, which is good.

What’s the latest with Harvey’s Law?

It’s still happening. These things take ages. To make it a law, it’s not just going to happen overnight. We’re nearly there, we just have to wait. But it will definitely be a law – because it’s a no-brainer. But these trolls need to be sorted out. They’re keyboard warriors.

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Do you have any more appearances in parliament planned?

There will be some more appearances, yeah. I don’t know any dates yet as nothing has been confirmed with everything going on, but it will be this year. I feel really strongly about trolling and bullying and that’s why it’s important to push Harvey’s Law and campaigns like #TurnOffTrolls.

Do you worry about your other children growing up in the social media age?

If Junior gets any trolling, he bangs them down straightaway. He’s quite smart and he hits back. Princess is also smart on it, too. We’ve got their login details, so everything is all under control our end.

If you came face-to-face with one of your trolls, what would you say to them?

I wouldn’t even give them the satisfaction. I wouldn’t even want to be in front of them because I wouldn’t want to give them my air space. I just don’t understand why people feel the need to do it.

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