Bonnie Ryan has opened up about a harrowing experience she and her family endured following a false rumour on a gossip forum.
The influencer revealed that an online gossip forum led her own mum to believe that she had died in a car accident after a false rumour began to circulate.
Speaking on journalist Aoife Grace Moore’s podcast Trolled, Bonnie said her mum Morah was left in an “awful state” following the incident.
After growing up with a father in the limelight, broadcaster Gerry Ryan, Bonnie also admitted that she had since learned to not read things about herself online.
While her father always taught her to only care about her friends’ and family’s opinion, she admitted that it was still “shocking” to read such false things written about her.
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It was when her mum received the dreaded phone call last year that the horrific incident began and left her shaken up.
“I went over to my mom’s and she was in an awful state, she was like hysterical, somebody had called her and said I’d been in a really bad car accident,” Bonnie said.
The person asked her mum if she was “alive” and had told Morah they saw the news online.
She continued: “My mom thought I had died in a car accident, called my fiancé, my fiancé was trying to get through to me, he couldn’t.
“So there was this big drama going on. I was like, just driving my car, not answering to them because I was driving. And got over to my mum, she was in an awful state. And I was just like, where did this person see this? Where did they hear it? What the hell?
“So I googled. Never do it. I googled, uh, ‘Bonnie car accident’ to see like where has this come from, and the first thing that popped up was this other page [which] was like a full, I’m not even gonna say the name of the thing…”
Still shaking as she recalled the incident, Bonnie admitted that she never knew the full extent of what was being said about her online. She said she had previously only assumed it was the odd nasty DM.
After clicking into the forum, Bonnie’s world was turned “upside down” in the weeks that followed.
“I never went back onto it. I’ve never since looked at it and I never will again, but my whole world was rocked and I was really shocked at myself because I think I kind of prided myself on the fact that I had been brought up in this family and we’ve really been instilled to think, you know, this stuff doesn’t matter,” she added.
“So when I saw that stuff and it affected me the way it did, I was really rattled and it has now made me think, you know, the majority of people who do what I do haven’t been brought up in the family I’ve been brought up in.”