Sam Heughan: Outlander star hits out at ‘years of bullying and harassment’

Many of the actor's co-stars expressed support for him after the emotional social media post

Roisin O'Connor
Saturday 18 April 2020 12:30 BST
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Scottish actor Sam Heughan has posted a lengthy statement about the years of “bullying and harassment” he has apparently faced from trolls.

Heughan claims that adults he “cannot name for legal reasons” have been targeting him on social media and also sending unspecified items to his home, stalking him, and harassing his colleagues.

The Outlander star, who plays Jamie Fraser in the period drama, said the ordeal had affected his mental health and is “a daily concern”.

“After the past six years of constant bullying, harassment, stalking and false narrative I am at a loss, upset, hurt and have to speak out,” he said.

“It’s affecting my life, mental state and is a daily concern. My costars, friends, family, myself, in fact anyone I’m associated with, has been subjected to personal slurs, shaming, abuse, death threats, stalking, sharing of private information and vile, false narrative.”

The 39-year-old continued: “Recently, these false claims vary from me manipulating fans, being a closest homosexual, trying to mislead or exhort fans for money and disregarding Covid advice. I’ve done none of the above.

“I’m a normal guy and nothing like the characters I play. Most recently, some of you may know I’m currently self-isolating in Hawaii. I came here before the travel ban.”

Heughan appeared to suggest he had been criticised for remaining in Hawaii during the coronavirus pandemic, but said he had been advised by “everyone I trust” to stay put.

“I decided to remain in a safe environment. It was a good decision,” he said. “I’m safe, isolated, putting no one at risk and am not a burden to the locals… We have not been asked to leave.”

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“These bullies have created a false narrative, sharing private information and abused my loved ones and I consistently for the last six years on blogs and [social media]. I will not entertain it anymore.”

He concluded: “Stay safe and please be kind to yourself and to each other. There’s so much more to concern ourselves with right now.”

A number of Heughan’s co-stars and fellow actors expressed their support for him on social media.

Sophie Skelton, who plays Jamie’s daughter Brianna in the hit show, tweeted: “Screens don’t protect from those sticks and stones so please stop throwing them. Thankfully, there are also incredible fans out there, and thankfully we have a very close cast. Standing together. We love you, Heughan.”

Steve Cree, another Outlander star who has also appeared in films such as 300: Rise of an Empire and Maleficent, wrote: “Very sad that it’s got to a point where a guy like Sam, truly one of the nicest & most positive people I know, feels he has to post this. Since Outlander became a worldwide phenomenon, he’s always led the line in exemplary fashion; not to mention his incredible charity work too.”

Diana Gabaldon, who wrote the books upon which the series is based, responded to a fan asking whether she had seen his post and wrote: “I don’t know what possesses some people, but the bottom line is that Sam’s private life is exactly that. _Nothing_ he does is anyone else’s business. [sic]”

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