'I get at least 10 tweets a day calling me a dirty pikey': Tearful Cher Lloyd reveals the full extent of cruel cyber bullying


By Nadia Mendoza

She's the epitome of a rags to riches fairytale, having morphed from school girl to popstar over night.

But Cher Lloyd faces daily bullying from online cyber trolls who have branded her a 'dirty pikey'.

The X Factor star, 18, went in front of the cameras to feature on last night's Panorama documentary, lifting the lid on cruel and relentless internet bullying largely carried out via Facebook and Twitter.

Tearful: X Factor star Cher Lloyd told Panorama host Declan Lawn about the darker side of fame, revealing that she is the victim of cyber bullying and is called a 'dirty pikey' at least 10 times a day via Twitter

Speaking on the BBC One show, the Swagger Jagger star said she frequently cries herself to sleep.

Her twisted tormentors have also attacked her mother Diane, due to her Romany heritage.

Cher explained that the problem started when she began accepting random fans as 'friends'.

She said: 'My Facebook page exceeded the amount of friends you could have. It was excitement for me, so I just kept clicking 'confirm' as I couldn't believe how many people wanted to be my friend.'

Honest: Cher has come forward in the hope to give courage to other cyber bullying victims

But things soon turned sour, with the Malvern teenager adding: 'I must get at least ten tweets a day saying I'm a dirty pikey. I think they know it's going to get to me, or because they know they can.

'There have been many times when I've cried myself to sleep. I'm very scared because I like to think people think I'm strong, because if they don't, then they might not think I can do it... Some days I wish that people would leave me alone for a bit and for there to be a hole to suck me in.'

The No chart-topper added: 'I never thought I could talk to anybody about it because I didn't feel I needed to as I was strong enough to get through it alone, but that's the worst thing you can do.'

Cher also said she would be a lot happier if she had catapulted to fame a decade ago when the Internet was left prevalent: 'I'd be a lot happier and be protected a lot more.'

Soldiering on: Cher clearly relishes her fame at T4 Stars of 2011 and the SBTV Christmas party last December

Scandalous Celebrity Big Brother star Natasha Giggs, 29, has also been in the firing line from cyber bullies follow her eight-year affair with brother-in-law Ryan, along with Xtra Factor host Caroline Flack, 32, who had a fling with One Direction teenage heartthrob Harry Styles, 18.

The programme was aired to coincide with today’s Safer Internet Day, following a study by charity Beatbullying which found one in 13 children experience regular bullying on social network sites.

Emma-Jane Cross, chief executive of Beatbullying, said: 'Cyber-bullying continues to be a dangerous problem for young people and we must not ignore its complex and often devastating effects.'