Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Flanagan sorry for gun photo gaffe

Helen Flanagan has apologised for tweeting a picture of herself posing with a gun following the Connecticut shootings

An emotional Helen Flanagan wiped away tears on ITV's Daybreak as she apologised for posting a picture online of herself holding a gun against her head just days after the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

The actress and I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! star called the decision to post the picture on Twitter "the stupidest thing I have ever done in my life" and apologised to any of the victims' families who may have taken offence.

The image, taken in a fashion shoot in October and shared by Flanagan on Monday, appeared on the front page of The Sun on Wednesday and prompted a wave of online criticism.

Flanagan looked visibly emotional when she appeared on the Daybreak sofa, wiping away a tear as she attempted to answer the first question and saying: "Sorry, I am so upset."

She said she posted the photo without thinking and deleted it once she realised the significance of what she had done.

She said: "I absolutely hated myself for it. I am incredibly sorry. I just could not be more sorry... my heart bleeds for the families. None of my friends are in the public eye. I sometimes forget that I am in the public eye... I have to be more careful as a role model."

Flanagan initially accused The Sun of "bullying" on Twitter when it ran the picture with the headline: "As 26 lie dead after US school horror, Corrie's Helen Flanagan poses with a gun to her head... BRAINLESS".

The actress told Daybreak she still believed The Sun's decision to put the picture on its front page had been unfair.

She said: "I did think for it to be on the cover of The Sun like that was unfair because it was a completely careless second... I would never, ever want to hurt anyone."

The Sun said in a statement read out on the show that, while Flanagan was one of its favourites, anyone who courts fame must use their celebrity responsibly.

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