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The Circle’s Manrika Khaira reveals she’s had death threats and her address has been leaked

Ellie Harrison
·2-min read
Manrika Khaira (Channel 4)
Manrika Khaira (Channel 4)

The Circle star Manrika Khaira has discussed the abuse she’s received since starring in the show, saying her “heart just drops” when someone calls her name in the street.

Khaira, 25, came second on the latest series of Channel 4’s hit reality show, which aired its highly anticipated finale last week.

Speaking about the death threats and abuse she has received since starring in the programme, Khaira told Radio 1 Newsbeat: “You’ve had so many threats you don’t know if somebody is going to do something… It’s been very scary. My address has been leaked on Twitter, my address has been posted on Instagram pages.”

Khaira said that at one point during the three-week series – which was pre-recorded back in September – the toll of the abuse on her mental health was so bad she couldn’t get out of bed for three days. “I just didn’t have the energy or the life in me,” she said. “I ignored my phone."

Khaira said the trolling was at its worst when she sent her friend Tally Brattle home. “I think a lot of people got mixed up with The Circle being a reality TV show rather than a game show,” she said. “People saw it as snakey and backstabbing.”

She added: “My dad said to me numerous times: ‘You’re a woman of colour. It makes a difference.’”

Khaira said she has been offered a lot of support since the show was filmed six months ago and can phone a psychiatrist 24 hours a day.

“As much support as Channel 4 is giving me, there isn’t much that they can do about trolls or fake accounts,” she added. “This is why I spoke to my management, and we wanted to make a difference.”

Stars from the latest series of The Circle reunited in a video encouraging people to be kinder online.

In a tweet ahead of the finale, The Circle’s official Twitter account posted a plea for online abuse to stop, writing: “Only 2 sleeps until #TheCircle final & as much as we love reading light-hearted, lively conversation online, please remember that #TheCircle is a game show & the Players are real people who are playing an incredible game. We hope you enjoy the rest of the series with us.”

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