Mother’s secret double life exposed

In the online world of "mumfluencers", UK mother-of-four Clemmie Hooper was a queen.

The midwife turned to blogging after welcoming her second child and in 2011 joined Instagram, where her Mother of Daughters account has more than 660,000 followers.

But Mrs Hooper's future in the lucrative world of Instagram influencing now looks in doubt after she admitted to leading a secret double life as an online troll - even reportedly attacking her own husband Simon Hooper, whose Father of Daughters account has more than one million followers.

Clemmie Hooper has unmasked herself as a secret troll who attacked her rivals.
Clemmie Hooper has unmasked herself as a secret troll who attacked her rivals.

Together, the couple documented their idyllic-seeming family life online that included luxurious trips overseas, photos of their Pinterest-worthy home renovations and, of course, Instagram ads.

It all seemed perfect until Thursday when Mrs Hooper admitted that she was Aliceinwanderlust, an account on UK gossip forum site Tattle.life that had a reputation for its withering take-down of other influencers, the Telegraph reports.

 

 

Frequent targets of Aliceinwanderlust were rival mummy bloggers, including Bethie Hungerford (@Hungermama), who the account labelled "desperate" for fame.

Aliceinwanderlust was accused by some of being racist. The anonymous account labelled one mummy blogger "aggressive" and accused them of bringing everything back to race.

Laura Rutherford, who has 23,000 followers on That Mummy Smile, even addressed the Alice account in an Instagram post in which she called for it to stop encouraging "trolls to tear my reputation apart".

 

 

Soon some on Tattle.life became suspicious that Mrs Hooper was behind the account, as while it spoke derogatively of other mum influencers, it had only glowing comments to say about the Mother of Daughters account.

After one of Aliceinwanderlust's posts referenced her being on holidays in the Caribbean at the same time as Mrs Hooper piqued interest, the trolling account issued a blistering denial.

Defending her positive views of Mrs Hooper, screengrabs appeared to show Aliceinwanderlust slamming Father of Daughters, writing: "Her husband on the other hand is a class at (sic) t**t. I can't believe she puts up with his nonsense."

 

 

But the pretence ended last week when, in a lengthy statement on her Instagram account, Mrs Hooper admitted to leading a double life online as Aliceinwanderlust.

The 34-year-old said she started the account after seeing thousands of negative comments about herself and her family on the website.

"Reading them made me feel extremely paranoid and affected me much more than I knew at the time," Mrs Hooper said.

"I decided without telling anyone else that I would make an anonymous account so that this group of people would believe I was one of them, or that I could maybe change their opinions from the inside to defend my family and I."

Mrs Hooper said the "situation escalated" when she began writing negative comments about other bloggers in a bid to cover her tracks.

 

 

"When the users started to suspect it was me, I made the mistake of commenting about others. I regret it all and am deeply sorry - I know this has caused a lot of pain," she said.

"Undoubtedly I got lost in this online world and the more I became engrossed in the negative commentary, the more the situation escalated.

"Engaging in this was a huge mistake. I will take responsibility for what happened and I am just so sorry for the hurt I have caused everyone involved including my family and friends."

Mrs Hooper's husband has since issued his own statement on Instagram, writing that he was "in a crap position" as he could only "stay silent" to protect his wife or "comment on something I had no knowledge of".

 

View this post on Instagram

So, some people in this corner of the internet may want to know my response to what’s happened over the last couple of days. Frankly, I'm in a crap position as I only really have 2 options - 1). to stay silent to protect my wife & knowing that if I do, the silence will be deafening or 2). to comment on something I had no knowledge of. It's not a fun place to be. And yet fun is what I can to Instagram for. I don’t take myself or life too seriously, but when something like this happens I have to acknowledge it and in all honesty, I'm feeling both angry & a bit sad. I can't condone or fully understand why Clemmie did what she did.  Make no mistake about it - she made some bad choices - I just wish she could have spoken to me about this before it all got too much. Actually, If we're wishing for things, I wish it had never happened in the first place. I’ve seen first hand what 3 years of being attacked online can do to a person and the dark places it can drive you to – I guess whereas I can happily ignore it all, she couldn’t & ended up getting lost. To be clear, I’m not here to defend my wife’s actions or provide excuses because I have none. What I do know is that online actions have real world consequences - this has impacted our family & it will take some time to recover. That said, away from these squares, the world keeps spinning, the leaves are turning & we have 4 girls that need their parents. I'll be here tomorrow doing what I do.

A post shared by Simon, also known as FOD (@father_of_daughters) on

 

"I'm feeling both angry & a bit sad. I can't condone or fully understand why Clemmie did what she did. Make no mistake about it - she made some bad choices - I just wish she could have spoken to me about this before it all got too much," he wrote.

Mr Hooper added that while he was not here to "defend my wife's actions or provide excuses", he had seen the "dark places" she had been in after being attacked online.

"What I do know is that online actions have real world consequences - this has impacted our family & it will take some time to recover," he wrote.

Last year Mrs Hooper temporarily quit Instagram after she was attacked on another online forum, Mumsnet.

Users there slammed her for the "ethically dubious" use of her four children in sponsored Instagram posts.

Mrs Hooper herself joined Mumsnet to defend herself, denying she had been selling out her children.


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