Outlander star Sam Heughan at the premiere of “Bloodshot” on March 10, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage/Getty)
Outlander star Sam Heughan has broken his silence after years of “bullying, harassment and stalking” from online trolls who insist he’s secretly gay.
The Scottish actor best known for his role as Jamie Fraser in the period drama opened up about the abuse he’s received over the past six years in a lengthy statement on social media.
He said he and his family, friends and costars have been targeted by “personal slurs, shaming, abuse, death threats, stalking, sharing of private information and [a] vile, false narrative”.
“It’s affecting my life, my mental state and is a daily concern,” he wrote.
“Recently, these false claims vary from me manipulating fans, being a closet homosexual, trying to mislead or exhort fans for money and disregarding [COVID-19] advice. I’ve done none of the above.”
Heughan said he hadn’t spoken of the abuse previously because he “believed in humanity” and simply hoped the bullies would go away – but he’s now declaring: “I will not entertain it anymore.”
He declined to name any of the trolls for legal reasons, but revealed that “they are professionals: teachers, psychologists, and adults who should know better”.
Stay safe all.x pic.twitter.com/9WbwAnT6nz
— Sam Heughan (@SamHeughan) April 17, 2020
The embattled star is facing criticism for self-isolating in Hawaii, where he travelled before the lockdown began.
He opted not to return home as it would require multiple long-distance flights, potentially exposing him to the virus after an extended period of ill health.
“None of us knew how bad things would get but as the situation worsened, upon the advice of everyone I trust, I decided to remain in a safe environment,” he said.
“It was a good decision. I’m safe, isolated, putting no one at risk and am not a burden to the locals… we have not been asked to leave.”
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.”
Outlander airs Mondays on Starz and Amazon Prime Video.