Football pundit and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Alex Scott has opened up about almost walking away from her TV career due to abuse from online trolls - and hiding it all from her friends and colleagues.
The former England right back, 34, admitted she considered turning her back on her career for good because she was inundated with abuse on social media sites Instagram and Twitter.
Speaking to The Sun on Sunday, Alex said: "I didn't speak to anyone about what was happening because I didn't know what to do."
She said she felt "so lonely" but hid what was happening because she "didn't want people to feel sorry" for her as she tried to break into the industry, adding: "I didn't want to give away anything that could be used against me. So I hid it. I began to struggle and reached the point where I was like, 'I need to say something'."
Speaking further, Alex said that at her "lowest point" she was "always questioning" whether or not she was doing the right thing by pursuing a TV career.
She continued: "It was really starting to affect my personality. I was questioning whether to quit the job. But that's when I spoke out and realised the power in that.
"I got a lot of support, which was really encouraging. If it happened again, I would definitely call the police."
I didn't speak to anyone about what was happening because I didn't know what to do.
Alex's ultimate goal is to inspire young girls into following in her footsteps and pursuing their dreams, as she said it's a part of her job that she "loves".
She's partnered on this year's Strictly Come Dancing with pro Neil Jones.
She was touted as the favourite before the new series got underway - so much so that was forced to hit back at claims she has an unfair advantage over other contestants.
Alex won last year's Strictly Sport Relief special, but she has denied claims that taking part in the charity special has boosted her chances of winning the dance show.Rubbishing the claims, she said: "I only trained for a week for Strictly Sport Relief. I can’t remember any of the steps! I was just copying."
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