‘Disgusting’: Molan’s shocking ordeal
Sports stars have praised Erin Molan and slammed online trolls after "disgusting" abuse towards the Channel 9 presenter was exposed.
The Sunday Telegraph has revealed Molan - who features heavily in Nine's NRL coverage - helped convict a troll who sent her vile messages on Facebook where he said, among other things, he hoped she and her then-unborn baby died.
Molan reported the man to police and he was arrested after failing to appear in court, fined $1000 and given an eight-month suspended sentence.
The 33-year-old opened up to The Sunday Telegraph about the experience, saying: "When it gets to the stage when I felt unsafe and I was heavily pregnant, and someone is threatening my life and the life of my child, it's too much."
Molan's former Channel 9 colleague and ex-NRL player Beau Ryan, who worked closely with her on The Footy Show, took to social media to praise the TV star and slam those who use the internet to abuse people.
"Bravo Erin we are so proud of you! This has to stop. Imagine if this abuse was directed at your wife, sister, mother or daughter???? It's disgusting," Ryan wrote.
"Let me get this straight. I think social media can be great. I'm all for social media being used to give people a platform to share their views and opinions. That's a positive. But there is a dark side.
"When people decide to violently abuse people or threaten them you should be held accountable.
"I remember talking to you the day The Footy Show got canned and I put a photo up of us 4 (the 4 hosts) and I had to spend the next 3 hours deleting comments.
"The abuse you have copped is disgusting. But you have still shown up to work for the last 12 months and done a tremendous job.
"I've known you for a long time and there aren't too many nicer, more genuine, caring people out there. I'm proud of you, I admire you, and hopefully this makes people think twice before trolling people online.
"The effects can be devastating."
Former Australian netball captain Liz Ellis, who also works for Channel 9 and is a regular panellist and occasional host of the network's Sports Sunday program, also weighed in on Twitter to voice her support for Molan.
"Appalling. Bravo @Erin_Molan for facing this rubbish head on," Ellis wrote.
Some of the abuse targeted Molan's performance on The Footy Show - which she hosted - and the horrific Facebook trolling came when she was 33 weeks pregnant with her first child.
Her daughter Eliza is now 11 months old and Molan said more accountability for online behaviour can only be a good thing.
"If every person thinks twice: 'I might be held accountable. I might be convicted. I might have to go to court if I threaten or intimidate someone', then I think that's a great thing for society," Molan said.
"No one should live in fear because of someone else's actions."