27 July 2023

Laura Whitmore: I feel unsafe as a woman

27 July 2023

Laura Whitmore has revealed she was cyberstalked in a new documentary, and said she has “always felt a bit unsafe”.

The former Love Island presenter explores cyberstalking in one episode of a three part ITV series, also covering the topics of ‘incel’ culture (involuntary celibacy) and rough sex.

Whitmore, 38, said filming the cyberstalking episode “freaked me out a bit”.

She told the PA news agency: “When it comes to cyberstalking, I’ve had situations before in the past that I’ve been told comes with the territory – which it doesn’t, and it shouldn’t, and there is law there to protect you.”

The Dublin-born presenter, now based in London, said: “[I’ve] always been really cautious about putting up online where I am in a personal capacity, or putting up my family online.

“But it’s not just about people in the public eye – that’s how everybody has to be, because you can have a stalker within a workplace or in a neighbourhood.”

Whitmore added: “I’ve always felt a bit unsafe.

“Even from a young age, my mother was always very protective of me because things had happened to her when she was younger.

“I would never walk home by myself at night and I even remember during lockdown, when you go for that walk during the day, I’d have to go in certain hours when it was bright.

“I can’t go for a run in the park like my husband does at night, and I’m always really jealous.”

Whitmore is married to Scottish comedian Iain Stirling, and welcomed a baby in March 2021.

“I get really pissed off because I’m like to the men in my life – you have no idea,” she added, talking about how much more energy women have to expend to stay safe.

If they’re out late at night, Whitmore and her female friends message each other when they’ve arrived home safely, and the presenter said: “I remember Iain was like, ‘Oh, that’s really sweet that you guys do that’. But no – I’m just checking she’s not dead. There’s nothing cute about it.”

With the seeming rise of news stories about violence against women and the ability to track people via social media, Whitmore said: “Definitely as a woman I feel unsafe.”

The series was filmed last year, and now Whitmore is currently doing an acting job.

“I need that balance, because I think if I was just doing one thing, I’d probably go crazy,” she said.

“I like to think all those little parts of me help – a bit of the entertainment helps with the doc stuff, the doc stuff helps me with the entertainment stuff.”

Laura Whitmore Investigates is available to stream on ITVX from 27 July.

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