Now magazine has apologised to TV presenter Stacey Solomon for a cover story that labelled her “boring, desperate and cheap”.
A picture of the former X Factor finalist featured on the front of this week’s edition of the magazine along with the headline: “Stacey: boring, desperate, cheap – why fans are sick of her”.
Solomon shared an image of the cover on Twitter on Tuesday, the day it was published, saying it was the “meanest thing I’ve ever seen”.
The message prompted an outpouring of support from fans, including actor Stephen Fry and TV presenter Alison Hammond.
Now magazine said the story had been based on social media comments about Stacey and “is not the opinion of Now magazine”.
The magazine, which is owned by TI Media, saw the biggest decline in circulation among UK women’s weeklies – falling 42 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2018, according to ABC.
Support for Solomon also came from media industry professionals.
Claudia Tanner, culture and lifestyle executive at the i paper, said on Twitter: “This shit is boring Now Magazine. Write something interesting instead of the same old rubbish churned out year after year. Stand tall Stacey Solomon.”
Solomon later directed a tweet at Now magazine’s official Twitter account, saying: “Why the silence… you created an entire cover based on the opinions of maybe three people and now there are almost a thousand people holding Now accountable as to why you feel you need to constantly tear people down in a bullying manor [sic]…”
Yesterday, Solomon appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss the matter.
She said: “As I continue to read inside the magazine – it is just the messages we are giving out to people who might not have been able to spend the last ten years building up a thick enough skin to bat these comments away.
“And subliminally telling people they are not good enough, that they need to change and that’s why they’re getting dumped or their relationship has broken down or they’re losing friends – it’s because they’re not good enough.”
In a statement, Now magazine said: “The story featured in this week’s issue of Now magazine regarding Stacey Solomon was written on the basis of social media comments about Stacey and is not the opinion of Now magazine.
“As a publication, we simply aim to inspire debate amongst our readers about their favourite celebrities and TV stars, including Stacey. We do not encourage or condone bullying in any form.
“We apologise to Stacey for any distress our story may have caused.”
In March TV personality Scarlett Moffatt claimed Now had published false information about her going through cosmetic surgery, although the magazine denied the accusations.