In an exclusive interview, former Miss USA and Meet the Barkers star Shanna Moakler opens up about her 10-year-old daughter Alabama’s scary experience with cyberbullying.
Shanna tells Life & Style that it all began when a popular YouTube personality known as RiceGum, 19, posted a video taunting Alabama for her precocious pics, vegan lifestyle and inconsistent grammar.
Within hours of the video going up, more than 3,000 commenters had posted hateful and repulsive remarks calling the pre-teen a “loser,” “whore” and worse.
“My daughter read a lot of this vicious bullying and started crying,” says the 41-year-old. “We had to explain to her that she was safe and these threats were from people who didn’t know her. It has been so emotionally draining and damaging that I now understand why people commit suicide over cyberbullying.”
Shanna explains that she asked YouTube to take down the video (the company did, citing copyright infringement) and called out RiceGum for picking on a minor. “I told him how wrong this was,” the mother-of-three shares.
However, that only made things worse. Commenters claimed they would work together to “find and kill” her and Travis Barker. “People get obsessive and nuts,” she says. “It’s scary.”
“There’s been nonstop harassment,” Shanna continues. “People think they can say anything because they are faceless, but their comments cause a lot of pain.”
Shanna is determined to help put an end to cyberbullying. “I want to make a documentary about this,” she says. “I want to travel the country and talk to school principals to help stop this in the future.”
For the full interview with Shanna, pick up the latest issue of Life & Style, on newsstands now!