Former The Only Way Is Essex star Mario Falcone has opened up about how cruel trolling pushed him to attempt to take his own life.
The popular TV star, 30, revealed that five years ago, during the height of his fame on the ITVBe show, fans lashed out to such a level that he didn’t want to be alive anymore.
Speaking to The Sun to mark World Suicide Prevention Day, Mario said: “At the time I was on TOWIE, I was very, very young and I was being an idiot on the show – that goes without saying. And with that came a lot of hate on social media.”
Things went from bad to worse for Mario after he was accused of cheating on a girlfriend he was with at the time.
“You only see such a small part of what really happened because scenes are cut and there’s so many other people involved,” he said, reflecting on the incident.
“For you to then get your phone out and write to that person and say horrendous things to them without even knowing them – you’re the person who should be in the therapist’s office talking about your problems.”
The Essex favourite revealed that he was bombarded with countless messages including death threats, with one follower even writing: “I hope you die of cancer”.
Suffering with anxiety and depression at the time, and unable to tolerate the barrage of abuse being sent his way, Mario confessed that he attempted to take his own life in his hotel room.
Days afterwards, Mario told his mother about the incident, and revealed that looking back his “biggest mistake” was not telling anybody about his problems sooner.
Mario – who is soon due to become a father for the first time with fiancee Becky Meisner – revealed that it was his brother in law Tom Fletcher that gave him the number to seek professional help.
Speaking about how he is doing now, Mario said: “It’s five years on, but even today I could have a day where I still feel down, I do get myself anxious.
“I don’t know why I feel down; it can just come from anywhere. I can’t explain as to why it is it just happens.
“I have always described it as a dark cloud, you don’t want to talk about it, you feel it, it is always there but you crack on as if everything is okay.”
Urging fans to speak out if they were going through anything similar, Mario told the publication that he is living proof that you can battle your daemons, adding that nobody should feel “shame and embarrassment” for speaking out.
If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org.