‘Molly cried for help into an empty to void, asking influencers to help her because she was thinking of ending her own life’: Molly Russell’s father says the ‘odds were stacked against’ the tragic teenager
- Ian Russell spoke about how daughter Molly tragically took her own life in 2017
- He said she did not seem interested in socials but had a secret Twitter account
- Online, she reached out to influencers with millions of followers for help
- He said he wished Molly had been able to talk about her struggles with family
The father of 15 year-old Molly Russell who tragically took her own life has said his daughter reached out to celebrity influencers on social media in a cry for help.
Ian Russell said Molly’s family had no idea about the mental health issues she was suffering, and that she seemed uninterested in social media.
An inquest into Molly’s death in 2017 last week found she had been exposed to disturbing material about self-harm and suicide on a Twitter account she hid from her family.
Molly’s father Ian Russell said his daughter had asked ‘people who were influencers, maybe followed by millions of people, to help her’
Molly Russell tragically took her own life in 2017 after being exposed to disturbing material online
Molly also reached out to social media influencers for help, but her father said she ‘cried into an empty void’ and the chances of her being noticed by celebrities online was highly unlikely.
Mr Russell added he wished Molly had tried to speak to her family about her mental health instead.
Speaking to the BBC’s Today programme, he said: ‘There were no obvious signs that there was anything wrong with Molly, no obvious signs of any mental ill-health. No signs from her social media feeds. We talked, as a family, about being safe online. Being careful about what you posted and who you connected to online.
‘We followed each other on Twitter and Molly didn’t seem to be a social media person. She seemed to be the least social media person in our family. She even deleted the Twitter account that we all followed.
‘Only as part of the inquest, and only because the coroner asked for platforms to give to the inquest, did we find out that Molly had actually set up a secret Twitter account that we didn’t know anything about. The one that she used, in the main, to cry for help.
‘Cry for help out into an empty to void. Asking people who were influencers, maybe followed by millions of people, to help her because she was thinking of ending her own life. When the chances of anyone replying, the odds were stacked against her.
‘If she’d been able to somehow ask us as a family, gosh we wish that’s what she’d done because then we would have been able to help her and support her.’
The inquest heard how the teenager was exposed to content that ‘glamourised’ self-harm and would binge on suicide-related content online.
Mr Russell said Molly’s family had no idea about the mental health issues she was suffering
Mr Russell said attending the inquest last week brought some solace to the family, as the coroner agreed that Molly had been seriously impacted by the volume of disturbing material online.
However, he added the proceedings also forced the family to confront the content Molly had been looking at online before she died.
He told The Telegraph that one particular post stuck in his mind – a black-and-white photo of a girl with the caption ‘who would love a suicidal girl.’
Mr Russell said: ‘I think there are questions that will never be answered about Molly’s final hours.’