Words: Alastair James; pictures: Instagram/@missmichellehardwick
Trigger warning: This article contains references to homophobic language some readers may find upsetting.
Emmerdale star Michelle Hardwick has revealed the homophobic and abusive messages she’s been receiving from one cowardly anonymous troll.
Sharing a screenshot of some of the comments she’s received on Instagram, the 45-year-old actress, who came out in 2013, dared the troll to show his real face.
Hardwick, who's played Vanessa Woodfield since 2012, is in a relationship with Emmerdale producer Kate Brooks got married in 2019 and welcomed a son, Edward, last year.
“I dare you!”
In the screenshot of comments Michelle posted on Twitter on Saturday (28 August) an Instagram account with the name “Michael.torres0583” is seen to have posted at least four homophobic comments on four separate posts of Hardwick’s.
Among the vile comments were: “L***o brat”, and “d**e”. Accompanying the screenshot Hardwick posed a challenge: “Come on, show us who you really are… I dare you!”
Come on, show us who you really are… I dare you! pic.twitter.com/0x1bsKyFZ1— Michelle Hardwick (@ChelleHardwick) August 28, 2021
Brooks replied to Hardwick’s post with: “Hi ‘Michael’, the original Prisoner Cell Block H called from 1985 - they’d really like their insults back. Thanks a mill,” to which Michelle replied with a nail-painting emoji, which is often used to depict sass or a clapback.
Last, on Sunday (29 August) Michelle returned to Twitter with a screenshot of a message of thanks from her own Instagram profile. In it, she says, “Overwhelmed by all your beautiful supportive messages. I honestly don’t take it to heart, I just like to highlight it every so often.
“Thank you to every single person who took the time to message me whether I know you personally or not. I promise I’ll read then all,” before wishing people a happy Bank Holiday.
“We live with that fear every day”
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror in 2019, Michelle said she was too scared to hold her partner’s hands in public following an increase in homophobic attacks at the time.
The soap star said: “I feel like we’re going backwards in society with our attitudes. Sometimes if Kate and I see a group of young lads we instinctively let go of each other’s hands because we’re scared they’ll turn on us. We live with that fear every day.”
Hardwick also revealed she’d had messages from fans, both gay and straight, thanking her for normalising same-sex relationships.
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“It never stops and I always try and reply to everyone. And I get a lot of messages from viewers who aren’t gay saying, ‘What you’re showing is normal and it’s great it isn’t hidden away’.”
Michelle is currently on maternity leave but has revealed she will be returning soon.
The Attitude September Style Issue, is out now.
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