Nadia Essex has spoken exclusively to MailOnline about the disturbing abuse she has received on Twitter in wake of her friend Mike Thalassitis’ death.
The romance guru – who worked with Mike when he featured on her former TV series Celebs Go Dating last year – took to Instagram on Saturday night after hearing on the grapevine that the Love Island star had been discovered dead [cause of death currently unknown].
Tearfully, Nadia asked her followers if someone would clarify whether or not the news was a hoax, only for trolls to flock to Twitter and attack her for posting the video.
Distraught: Nadia Essex has spoken exclusively to MailOnline about the disturbing abuse she has received on Twitter in wake of her friend Mike Thalassitis’ death
Speaking to MailOnline on Sunday morning, Nadia explained that she ‘loved’ Mike, ‘was distraught and wanted to know whether or not the news was true’ and has subsequently quit Twitter after receiving a barrage of ‘vile and foul’ abuse.
‘I loved that man, and he is dead. My heart is broken. I loved the bones of Mike. And yet I have been driven off social media for trying to find out whether or not the news was true. I’m done,’ Nadia, 37, explained.
She went on: ‘This is precisely what’s wrong with Twitter and it should be ashamed of itself. It is 2019 and yet people are still allowed to hurl abuse at one another on that platform.
‘Instagram is different, but last night I had to come off Twitter after the amount of abuse I received. I will never understand it.’
Tragic: The romance guru worked with Mike when he featured on her former TV series Celebs Go Dating last year
A sad loss: ‘I loved that man, and he is dead. My heart is broken. I loved the bones of Mike. And yet I have been driven off social media for trying to find out whether or not the news was true. I’m done,’ Nadia, 37, explained
Nadia’s distraught video message to her followers saw her read out the MailOnline’s headline breaking the news and saying: ‘Please for the love of God let this be a hoax… if anyone can get hold of him or confirm this is a hoax please let the world know!’
In another video she was visibly distressed, saying through tears: ‘Please don’t let this be true! Not Mike! Please, no!’
Nadia continued to MailOnline: ‘It happens. People make stuff up. I needed to know if this was real. No-one who knew was answering their phones. And others were messaging me telling me “it’s a hoax”. I had to know if it was true or not.
‘Mike and I were close, we spent a lot of time together when we were in Cape Verde [for Celebs Go Dating filming]. And he was far from muggy, he was magic; he was a beautiful human being!’
A good man: Mike’s best friend died at Christmastime and his grandmother passed away two weeks ago, after he had moved in with her to care for her full-time
Nadia explained that she struggles with the ‘double-standards’ of social media, and blames it for suicide rates. Although it is yet to be determined how Mike died, she went on to say: ‘Too many people are losing their lives. It has got to stop. We need a Twitter that is kindness only.’
She continued: ‘We are told to speak up and show our emotions and how we are feeling. People say that you never know what’s going on behind closed doors. Well, I was expressing myself and look what happens. I had something like 1000 messages attacking me.
‘And now I am the one who has to come off social media. I have to change my life after these people call me vile names, when my friend has just died.
‘Twitter has become a toxic, acidic, horrible place. One girl recorded my videos [which have since been taken down] and has basically posted them on her own Twitter so she can get likes. What is wrong with people?’
Elaborating on her friend’s own struggles in light of her treatment on Twitter on Saturday, Nadia said: ‘Social media has played a part in Mike’s mental health in the past. And lately he has been through the wringer.’
Indeed, Mike’s best friend died at Christmastime and his grandmother passed away two weeks ago, after he had moved in with her to care for her full-time.
‘People might think he likes playing the villain but he couldn’t truly be a villain because in his heart he was a good lad,’ Nadia went on. ‘He battled with that and he was such a nice guy. It is just horrible to see he was getting abused because people thought he was muggy.’
Mike was discovered on Saturday in woodland close to his Essex home, and many of his celebrity pals have taken to social media to post tributes for him.
Nadia explained: ‘I could never have posted a tribute without knowing for sure if this was true. I couldn’t believe my friend had died, I adored him, we had such a bond.
‘I remember – he introduced me to Piña Coladas. In Cape Verde. We sat and drank them for two hours in the sun and wind, just being mates. Every time I have one it’s down to him.
‘A couple of weeks ago, we were laughing and joking, because I am arranging a singles night and he told me he wanted to come. He was saying “make sure there’s a load of sorts there” – it was all banter but he seemed to be okay.
‘But then he went completely quiet, which was unusual. I am devastated for him.’
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