news

Erin Molan was heavily pregnant when a troll told her he hoped she'd die giving birth.

On an autumn night last year, a heavily pregnant Erin Molan was woken up in the middle of the night by a loud bang.

Someone was in the house.

The sports journalist and TV presenter screamed hysterically, waking up her fiancé, police officer Sean Ogilvy. He ran towards the noise, only to find a shelf had fallen off the wall in the laundry.

That was the moment Molan knew she had to tell the police about the troll terrorising her on Facebook.

On Sunday, the Sunday Telegraph reported 33-year-old Molan had successfully helped convict a man for relentlessly trolling her on Facebook Messenger while she was several months pregnant with her daughter Eliza.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Erin Molan (@erin_molan) on

The messages began in April, 2018, not long after Molan was announced as the host of Channel Nine’s now-axed NRL Footy ShowAccording to Molan and the Daily Telegraph, the man’s initial message was a call for the journalist to “get the f*** off the footy show yiu fake fukn slag (sic)” and to “do the weather report on channel 2 wheir ya belong yiu fukn rag (sic).”

Despite reporting the vile online activity to Facebook,  it was deemed not to have breached the social media network’s guidelines and the messages kept coming. Among them was a threat against her life and the life of her unborn baby, saying, “I wish u a fukn still born AND U DIE IN THE PROCESS … hip hip hooray hip hip HOORAY (sic).”

ADVERTISEMENT

“When it gets to the stage when I felt unsafe and I was heavily pregnant, and someone is threatening my life and the life of my child, it’s too much,” Molan told the publication.

Side note – fellow TV presenter Sarah Harris has also spoken about receiving online abuse for simply doing her job, watch in the video below. Post continues after video.

Video by MWN

At this point, Molan blocked the man, however, he continued to abuse the then-mum-to-be under multiple fake online accounts. She then reported the man to police, and as the Sunday Telegraph reports, he was arrested after failing to appear in court, fined $1000 and given an eight-month suspended sentence.

Following the publicised details of Molan’s very private ordeal with this online troll, many of the presenter’s current and former colleagues have posted messages of support on social media.

“Appalling. Bravo @Erin_Molan for facing this rubbish head on,” Australian netball great and Channel Nine sports commentator Liz Ellis tweeted on Sunday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Molan’s former NRL Footy Show colleague and ex-NRL player Beau Ryan also posted his support on Instagram, writing, “Bravo Erin we are so proud of you! This has to stop. Imagine if this abuse was directed at your wife, sister, mother or daughter???? It’s disgusting.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Bravo @erin_molan we are so proud of you. This has to stop. Imagine if this abuse was directed at your Wife, Sister, Mother or Daughter???? It’s disgusting. Let me get this straight. I think social media can be great. I’m all for social media being used to give people a platform to share their views and opinions. That’s a positive. But there is a dark side. When people decide to violently abuse people or threaten them you should be held accountable. Bravo Erin for coming forward. I remember talking to you the day the Footy Show got canned and I put a photo up of us 4 (The 4 hosts) and I had to spend the next 3 hours deleting comments. The abuse you have copped is disgusting. But you have still shown up to work for the last 12 months and done a tremendous job. I’ve known you a long time and there aren’t to many nicer, more genuine, caring people out there. I’m proud of you, I admire you, and hopefully this makes people think twice before trolling people online. The effects can be devastating. ????????

A post shared by Beau Ryan (@therealbeauryan) on

“Let me get this straight. I think social media can be great. I’m all for social media being used to give people a platform to share their views and opinions. That’s a positive. But there is a dark side. When people decide to violently abuse people or threaten them you should be held accountable.

“The abuse you have copped is disgusting. But you have still shown up to work for the last 12 months and done a tremendous job. I’ve known you for a long time and there aren’t too many nicer, more genuine, caring people out there.

“I’m proud of you, I admire you, and hopefully this makes people think twice before trolling people online. The effects can be devastating.”

If this article has raised issues for you, please seek professional help and contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.

Have you ever been abused by an online troll? Do you think online abuse should be a crime? Tell us what you think in the comments!

00:00 / ???