'They wanted me dead': Hollyoaks star Abi Phillips reveals her secret torment at the hands of sick internet trolls
12:47 GMT, 21 April 2013
12:54 GMT, 21 April 2013
Hollyoaks beauty Abi Phillips has revealed her secret torment at the hands of sick internet trolls who wanted her dead.
Abi, who plays Liberty Savage in the soap, said she and her mum Linda wept when they read vile Facebook messages saying she should 'go and die'.
The 19-year-old starlet, who plays Liberty Savage in the long-running Channel 4 show, said: 'People were just so vicious. They'd put on Facebook: 'That Liberty needs to just go and die'.
Bullied: Abi Phillips said she was targeted by vile online trolls who wanted her dead
'It shocked and hurt me. I read it to my mum and we both cried. They were saying: 'She is so ugly, she is so c**p'. It was really vile.'
The poisonous posts brought back memories of school bullies who branded Abi, from Sutton Coldfield, fat and ugly.
But the hateful messages stirred her into action.
Hell: Abi said the trolls made her weep with their vile messages after she first appeared in hit soap Hollyoaks
On May 1, Abi – now pursuing a pop career – will visit a local school to talk to pupils about the heartache caused by acid tweets and cruel Facebook comments.
She said: 'My full name is Abigail and the other children called me 'Abiwhale', which was very hurtful.
'I used to stand in front of the mirror and cry. I looked at my reflection and wrongly thought: “You look disgusting”.
Vicious: Abi said the trolls had moved her to speak out about the dangers of online bullying
'There are a lot of girls with weight problems at primary school. But when you go to secondary school and keep the weight on, things get worse. I went through hell because of it.
'They swear at you, they push you around. A group of girls were very bitchy towards me, but it was boys, too.
'When someone is different because they are overweight, some people can't handle it and they can't understand the person is not a weirdo.
Star: the route to stardom has not been easy for Abi but she is determined to beat the bullies
'I started losing weight when I was 13 and got c**p from girls for the remaining years.'
Abi, a product of Birmingham's Stage Coach performing arts school, sings in pub band Shampoo, fronted by her mum and dad Richard.
The teenager has teamed up with Rob Davies, the man who steered Kylie Minogue and Sophie Ellis-Bextor to pop stardom, and is set to release a single.