Online harassment: “I learned to love these people” – Jérémy Gabriel

Online bullying: “I learned to love these people ;» - Jémy Gabriel


Despite the incalculable death threats and degrading insults that have ruined his life for years, singer Jérémy Gabriel swears that he no longer resents his web stalkers.< /p>

“Today, I am very calm,” he replies, when asked what he thinks of the people who cowardly attacked him.

“I learned to live with that and loving those people because they obviously have a problem. Uttering death threats to someone you've never met… I learned to take the strength it gave me. All the strength I have today is thanks to these people. They gave me the opportunity to become stronger.”

He even announced, Thursday morning, the abandonment of the last civil lawsuit against Mike Ward, ending an eight-year legal saga against the man who had made Jérémy Gabriel the target of cruel jokes in a show presented between 2010 and 2013.

The police

Jérémy Gabriel, to whom Le Journal spoke in the context of a file on online harassment against celebrities, which will appear in the Weekend section, could blame those who harassed him for life for over 100 years. Nobody would judge him.

Between 2015 and 2019, at the height of his disputes with Mike Ward, which he describes as the starting point of this campaign of virtual intimidation, threats, insults and harassment were his daily lot.

“It was all the time. Sometimes we were four or five people moderating on my Facebook page to control messages and filter them. I received several death threats via Messenger, on my Facebook page. Every year, I dealt with a police investigator, in Quebec or Montreal, for death threats made against me. It was part of my daily life to have calls from investigators.”

“In 2017, he continues, a young man took a photo with a gun and said he was going to kill me. He was arrested by the police and served time in prison. When I was doing shows, you had to provide extra security because you didn't know if people were going to come and make trouble. At ANTI, in Quebec City, five years ago, people came to make threats, they had to be kicked out, the police came.”

Difficult for her sisters

There were consequences. Even today, theaters refuse to hire him. Broadcasters didn't want to deal with the chaos, he says.

Even his studies were affected.

“In 2016, when I was studying at Cégep de Limoilou, I was afraid to go there because someone had made threats. He said he knew where I was going to school, that he was going to find me and beat me up.”

His relatives were also targeted. “For my sisters, it was very difficult. They were in high school when it all started. When it got bigger, they changed their surname.”

  • Listen to the Nantel-Durocher meeting broadcast live every day at 3 p.m. via QUB radio:

< strong>Like the weather

How did he put up with this and get through it?

“I don't know. Today, I talk to people about it like we talk about the weather, but it's part of my daily life. You end up accepting your fate. It is certain that it is difficult because you say to yourself: are we going to end up leaving me alone? I understand that people don't like me, but from there to wanting my life or wanting to hurt me physically? It's so much easier to change jobs or just not watch what I'm doing or not listen to my song.”

His storm subsided when another, the pandemic, took hold. lifting. He found a job in a hospital in Quebec and almost completely erased all traces of him on social networks. “That's where it went down.”

Nothing will surprise him

Granting an interview to Journal , Jérémy Gabriel knows only too well that he will receive hateful comments again, but he refuses to be silent.

“It will happen all the time, he says, resigned. I expect… I expect everything. I'm just 26 and there's nothing I haven't heard. I would be really surprised to be surprised.”

“All that, he concludes sadly, because I wanted to sing…”