Two years on from his appearance on Love Island and Canberra electrician Grant Crapp still receives death threats on Instagram.
“To this day, I have people telling me I should end my life for what I’ve done to women, that I shouldn’t be breathing,” he told Region Media.
“I had one yesterday that said they wished they could drag me behind their car.”
The reality television star came under fire from viewers and the media when his relationship with Love Island‘s Tayla Damir ended and he announced he was back with former girlfriend Lucy Cartwright.
“I think people got stuck on the fantasy of myself and Tayla on TV, people wanted to see that bloom and blossom after, but we’re all real people and sometimes things don’t work,” Mr Crapp said.
He and Ms Cartwright are still together and are facing the online bullies together.
“When it happens, I talk to Lucy and we try and laugh it off because if [the online bullies are] wasting their time of day worrying about what I’m doing and to say terrible things, there’s obviously something not going right in their life,” Mr Crapp said.
However, some comments aren’t as easy to shake off, particularly those from close friends.
“The saddest thing was I saw a lot of people in my home town knock me for putting myself out there and having a go. People would say, he’s a piece of sh*t, his last name suits him well, I knew him when I was younger and he was a d*ckhead,” Mr Crapp said.
“It was shocking. They were people I really trusted, blokes I played footy with and worked with. Seeing those comments really hurt me.”
The online bullies also got to Crookwell farmer Neil Seaman and girlfriend Justine Adams from the 2020 season of Farmer Wants a Wife.
Viewers called Ms Adams a “tantrum chucker”, “ball buster” and told farmer Neil “to run” after an episode showed her annoyed at him for kissing contestant Karissa Godfrey.
“I was angry at Neil that night but only for about 20 minutes. Instead, I was portrayed as cranky for the whole episode,” Ms Adams told Region Media.
“The thing you have to remember is, we shot about 70 hours of footage per week, per farm and only about 20 minutes per farm makes it to air, so they [the producers and viewers] can paint any picture they want,” Mr Seaman said.
The couple says they hit it off early on and could have been “a great love story” if the producers had captured it.
Online bullies also told Ms Adams she was a bad mother and looked like a man.
“People can comment but I wish they’d comment on the circumstances and not on my physical appearance or how I am as a mother,” she said.
Ms Adams says the producers of reality TV shows need to be more accountable for online bullying and should be moderating comments.
“I thought I was strong but it really got to me. I felt physically sick when the episodes were airing,” she said.
“There was so much duty of care on the farm: we couldn’t sit on the quad bike, on the back of the ute or do any farming activity but where was the duty of care for the girls’ mental health once the show went to air? We had a psychologist, but he wasn’t very helpful and there were no moderators, nothing in place for the comments on the website.”
Ms Adams said Channel Seven did censor some words and removed comments after she took photos of them and sent them to the producers.
Behind the comments are real people with real feelings – that’s what these reality TV stars wished the people posting the comments knew.
“There have been times when I’ve felt depressed and I’m usually a happy person. Seeing those comments over and over again takes its toll and makes you question if you’ve done something wrong.
“You can’t look away, even though you know they’re saying bad things,” Ms Adams said. “I started replying to the ones on Facebook but then I would be bombarded with people saying, why did you go on a reality TV show then? You’re fighting a losing battle.”
If you or someone you know has been affected by this story, support is available through Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14.