Openly gay Hollyoaks star hits back at ‘homophobic’ abuse after football mix-up

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An openly gay Hollyoaks star has said that he received a large number of homophobic messages after it was mistakenly reported he was joining a football team.

Speaking on Gaydio, Kieron Richardson, who plays Ste Hay on the soap, said he was besieged with messages after the mix up.

He said: “It’s made me feel very sad for the past couple of days.

“I share the same name as a footballer who signed for Aston Villa on Friday.

“Sky Sports were talking about this story and used my photograph instead of the footballer Kieran Richardson. Also, Aston Villa Official – their website – used the same photograph.

“At first I didn’t think anything of it and thought it was quite funny, until I went onto my Twitter feed and people genuinely thought I’d left Hollyoaks and signed for Aston Villa.

“Being openly gay, [I] was targeted with abuse [from people] going, ‘You gay blah blah blah, we’re not having you playing for our team’. Homophobic abuse all night long.

“At first I thought, ‘I’m not having this, I’m going to stick up for myself’. I started to reply to a few people, which spurred it on even more.

“Since being openly gay, I’ve never, never suffered from homophobic abuse at all. The demographic of Hollyoaks goes literally from little children to nans and granddads. We’ve got a wide spectrum of people watching the show.

“I’ve never received homophobic abuse, but as soon as my name is associated with football, I’ve been opened up to this horrific Twitter feed that I have to see.

“I am sad for other people and their attitudes. If this case has now stopped one person from coming out and has frightened them, then it’s a terrible situation.”