Al Porter slams 'vile' trolls who spread fake rumours he killed himself | 'I take all kind of abuse online - but not this'

Al Porter slams 'vile' trolls who spread fake rumours he killed himself

'I take all kind of abuse online - but not this'

Irish comedian Al Porter has hit out at internet trolls who spread fake news that he had taken his own life

The stand-up has kept a low profile since allegations of sexual misconduct were made against him in 2017, cancelling all his professional engagements and maintaining a virtual silence on social media.

However tonight he took to Twitter and Facebook to slam the ‘vile’ and ‘sick’ people who circulated a bogus news story about his supposed suicide to his friends and family.

The trolls mocked up a news page to look like a genuine report from the Irish Mirror headlined: ‘Comedian Al Porter found dead by family friend in suspected suicide, police confirm.’

It went on to say that the ’24-year-old former Today FM presenter was found dead in his Dublin home by [a] close friend.’

Writing on Facebook, Porter said: ‘This has been sent to family and friends of mine today.

'This is a fake news article that’s doing the rounds in WhatsApp groups. Many friends of mine were extremely worried and calling around to find out if it was real. It’s happened before and my sister had to call someone because she was worried sick it might be true.

'It’s not. I’m here, I’m a young man and I will live a long happy life, being the best I can be, for many years to come.

'The sick part of this is I know many people who have taken their own lives. It’s beyond tragic and is a deep sadness that has visited far too many families in Ireland. And too often it’s young men, men my age, maybe men with depression, like I have. When I was doing shows I donated many of my fees to Pieta House [an organisation which helps those who self-harm or who struggle with suicidal thoughts] and tried to be open about how even someone literally living for laughter like me, could also be followed by the black dog.

'I know I’m not perfect. I know I’m flawed, like us all. I have listened to the criticisms since 2017. I continue to work on being the kindest and best version of myself I can be. Still, Ive received all kinds of abuse online and I take it.

'But not this. It’s wrong and is hurting my family.'

And he called on the trolls to do good instead, saying: ' If you want to do something worthwhile on your phone that isn’t spreading vile rumor and gossip donate to Pieta House.  To donate €2 text PIETA to 50300.'

In 2017, Porter, who is now 25, had been accused of groping fellow comedians.

He denied the allegations, insisting a the time that his actions were ‘light-hearted and good-natured’, and that he did not mean to upset anyone or cause distress.

It is believed he has never been interviewed by gardai over the allegations.

In a rare social media post last year he wrote on Facebook: ‘In 2018 I’ve had to grow up a lot and learn many important lessons. Good judgement comes from experience and experience from poor judgement! (Sometimes!) May we all be better friends & family in 2019.’

• For help and support, call the Samaritans in the UK or Ireland on 116 123

Published: 17 Jan 2019

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