8 months ago
An Australian model claims she was targeted with vile death threats after she revealed her boyfriend initially didn’t believe she was real—because of her stunning looks.
Larissa Bartolo, from the Gold Coast, sent social media into meltdown recently after revealing her beau of three years thought she was fake when they first met online.
The 28-year-old Playboy bunny and actress said partner Jesse accused her of being a “catfish”—in effect, creating a phony, more glamorous online persona—when they struck up a chat on her modelling Facebook account in 2014.
Bartolo, who starred in the ‘Inbetweeners 2’ movie set in Australia, said that ever since she revealed their relationship’s unusual start, a wave of vitriolic online abuse has inundated her social media account, including death threats and even calls for her to take her own life.
The 28-year-old said: “It was total uproar. There has been so much online bullying, people picking apart my appearance, calling me a ‘whore’ and death threats.
“Some people were saying ‘You should kill yourself,’ or ‘Hope you die.’ It was horrible. After a certain amount of abuse, you start to question yourself, I hardly slept afterwards.
“I have dealt with bullying when I was younger, but obviously this is on another scale.”
Bartolo and personal trainer Jesse, who also lives on the Gold Coast, first began chatting online in 2014 when she was working in London and he was in Australia.
The model said when Jesse first messaged her, saying “You’re gorgeous, I wouldn’t think you were real,” she told him the same thing.
And after several months of chatting online the cyber-romance blossomed into the real world. The pair is still going strong after three years.
Larissa said some of her online tormentors stayed attacked under the veil of anonymity, but others made no effort to hide their identity. “When Jesse first messaged me I just laughed it off. He is a looker as well, so I told him I would have thought the same thing. There are so many internet trolls.
“Some of the people who left these comments were genuine people, grandfathers and grandmothers. I wondered if they would say that to their kids or grandkids?
“I never thought I was better than anyone.”
Despite her high-profile online following, Bartolo describes herself as a “private person.” She added: “There’s more to life than social media. I like to promote honesty and that lots of modelling photos are airbrushed to cover imperfections.”