Love Island star Marcel Somerville has opened up about the racial abuse he and his baby boy Roman have been subjected to since the tot was born.
The former Blazin Squad star welcomed his first child with fiancee Rebecca Vieira in January, just five months after the couple got engaged.
However, the early weeks after Roman arrived were tainted by horrific racist messages targeting the newborn on social media.
Sharing the extent of the abuse, Marcel said on the Instagram series Let’s Talk About It: ‘When Roman was born we were getting horrible stuff being sent. People said, “Oh another slave has been born”. They were putting up pictures of Roman with nooses around his neck.
‘I was the first fully black person to be on Love Island. So I think from that and from being quite popular on the show it led to people wanting to be a bit horrible and send messages and all those kind of things.’
Marcel, 35, appeared as a contestant on the 2017 series of ITV2’s Love Island where he struck up a romance with Gabby Allen, before splitting up months later.
The reality star added: ‘I’ve got 100,000 people who follow me on Instagram because they don’t like me and they just want to do racist stuff.’
Rebecca previously addressed the racist messages after giving birth to Roman and told The Mirror: ‘Most people have been really supportive and have sent lovely messages to me and Marcel but there have been a few horrible ones.
‘On Saturday I received some really disturbing direct messages from one vile troll in particular who told me my son, Roman, was ugly.
‘I blocked them and they just created a new account to continue trolling me and my son. I hate it so much. How can anyone want to attack my Roman like that?’
After watching Rebecca give birth to Roman, now 10 months old, Marcel praised his wife-to-be in a heartfelt Instagram post, saying: ‘@rebeccavieirax is literally my idol she has spent the last 2 days in labour and I don’t know where she got the strength from as I’m running on fumes but she did it and I could not be prouder of my future wife. I adore you mama!
‘Absolutely adore every single ounce of you! You’re my Wonder Woman! We did it mama and he’s everything we could have wished for.’
Marcel proposed in August 2020 and the couple are now planning on getting married in Portugal, where Rebecca’s family is from.