Influencer Elle Darby has returned to Instagram, five months after racist tweets she sent as a teenager sparked a five-month break from social media.
Darby, 26, from Wiltshire, who launched her own clothing brand on the back of her huge success as a social media star, saw her followers spiral from 785,000 to 648,000 after the offensive messages were unearthed and shared in January.
In the tweets, more than a decade old, mother-of-one Ms Darby, who is in a relationship with fellow influencer Connor Swift, called foreigners ‘meatheads’ who ‘speak in grunts’, and said she ‘hates Polish people and Indians really’.
An apology video on her YouTube channel at the time was branded by some as ‘insincere’, and the influencer hasn’t posted anything since.
However, on Sunday, Darby returned to Instagram, posting a message saying she’d taken time to ‘re-evaluate’ and ‘re-visit areas that need deep healing’.
Mother-of-one Elle Darby, from Wiltshire, enjoyed huge success as an influencer, starting her own clothing brand after amassing 785,000 fans but she suffered a fall from grace in January when a series of ‘shameful’ messages when she was a teenager, using racial slurs and insulting several ethnic groups emerged
After a five-month break, Darby posted a message saying she’d taken time to ‘re-evaluate’
Darby told followers in her latest post, that’s been liked more than 55,000 times, that she’d taken time to ‘re-evaluate’ and ‘re-visit areas that need deep healing’
She wrote: ‘There are few times in life where it makes more sense to just stop. To take a breath, to re-evaluate, to re-visit areas that need deeper healing and to return when you have the right message: rooted in authenticity and truth.’
The post has been liked by more than 55,000 people, with many supporters saying they’re glad Darby has returned to the platform.
One fan, rachelhedwards, wrote: ‘So glad to see you back Elle. Fully understand the sentiment in this post and I hope people can understand you’ve learned from your mistakes and are enforcing changes in your life. Sending love.
Life_of_a_girl_with_a_pug added: ‘We all make mistakes.’
In January, Darby’s name trended on Twitter after disappointed fans watched a video made by Darby apologising for the tweets – with many saying they were less than convinced by it.
Ms Darby apologised in a three-minute video for the tweets, saying she feels ashamed of her historic posts, adding that she wants to ‘take responsibility’ for her actions’
The social media star pictured with her partner and fellow influencer Connor Smith, who also apologised for his part in the racist tweets, has yet to return to his Instagram account
Darby, pictured with her young son, Saint, had called foreigners ‘meatheads’ who ‘speak in grunts’, and said she ‘hates Polish people and Indians really’ on an old Twitter account, which has since been deleted
Connor Swift, Darby’s partner, has yet to post anything on his Instagram account, after two written apologies appeared in January after additional racist tweets emerged that were written by him.
One screenshot posted online appeared to show him tweeting: ‘Looked like a black man after work, through all the dust I collected. #StillLookedhot.’
He told his 175,000 followers: ‘I’ve learnt now more than ever before that the words we use are so beyond powerful but I will show that my actions will forever speak louder moving forward. I want to make it clear that I am sorry, to everyone my tweets have affected and caused pain upon.’
In 2018, Darby hit the headlines after she wrote to Paul Stenson, the owner of the White Moose Café and Charleville Lodge Hotel in Dublin.
She asked about a ‘possible collaboration’ involving free accommodation for her and Swift, who were planning to visit for an early Valentine’s Day weekend.
But her note was greeted with disdain by Mr Stenson, who not only poured scorn on the request but also posted the exchange online – and vowed to ban bloggers from his hotel.