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Charlotte Dawson opens up about cyber-bullying

09:30 Mon Sep 3 2012
By MSN NZ staff
Charlotte Dawson
Charlotte Dawson

Former model and TV personality Charlotte Dawson has opened up to 60 Minutes about the Twitter trolls who drove her to attempt suicide last week.

The Australia's Next Top Model judge was admitted to a Sydney hospital early last Thursday after she was the subject of a vicious Twitter campaign that urged her to end her life.

"I've never had death threats of this ferocity. I've never had a campaign of this ferocity,'' Dawson said.

After being bombarded with the messages at 2.07am last Thursday the star, who has battled depression, tweeted "you win" along with a picture of a hand holding a bottle of pills.

"It just triggered that feeling of helplessness when the trolls got to me,'' she said on 60 Minutes last night.

"They got the better of me and they won."

The cyber row began when Dawson defended one of her Twitter followers who had been the subject of similar abuse from Twitter user Tanya Heti.

When Ms Heti began to abuse Dawson she tracked down her employer and complained of her behaviour.

Ms Heti was suspended from her job in the wake of the incident.

Dawson appeared on A Current Affair on the same evening, leading to a new wave of vile Twitter threats.

She received tweets that said "do the world a favour and go hang yourself", "I speak for everyone in the universe: bitch you need to kill yourself" and "go kill yourself you f---in whore" along with a photo of a mutilated child.

Dawson said as a celebrity she expected to cop a certain amount of abuse.

"You do have to have a thick skin and you do understand that no matter what you do, even if you're Mother Teresa, people are still going to hate you just because they think you're ugly or they don't like the sound of your voice," she said.

"If people are wanting you to kill yourself and you are somebody who has previously tried to end your life it's very, very easy to feel like that's exactly what you want to do."

Dawson spent two days in the psychiatric ward at St Vincent's Hospital and was reportedly advised not to use social media or take part in the 60 Minutes interview.

But the New Zealand born star said she wanted to discuss the issue of cyber bullying and show what it can lead to.


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