Love Island Australia star Erin Barnett was relentlessly trolled earlier this month, after she flaunted her romance with a much older man.
And the 24-year-old nurse hit back at her critics on Monday night, telling them that Mick Russell is most certainly not her ‘sugar daddy’.
In a lengthy Instagram post, Erin addressed speculation about Mick’s age by revealing how old he really is, and also denied false and hurtful rumours about their relationship.
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They’re getting serious! Erin Barnett (left) has moved in with her new boyfriend Mick Russell (right), but some Instagram trolls are mocking the Love Island star’s choice of partner
‘I probably shouldn’t even do this, but I feel the “need” to,’ she began.
‘I’ve just been reading some articles about my relationship with Mick. I really shouldn’t have kept scrolling through the articles and comments, but hey, it’s the Internet, right? Yes, I am dating an older man. No, he isn’t my “sugar daddy”.
‘Just a little FYI – [the] definition of a sugar daddy [is]: “a rich older man who lavishes gifts on a young woman in return for her company or sexual favours”.
‘I have my own money, I don’t need any man, at whatever age, giving me any gifts or their money. I buy myself better gifts than anyone can.’
Clarification! In a lengthy Instagram post, Erin addressed speculation about Mick’s age by revealing how old he really is, and also denied false rumours about their relationship
Erin continued: ‘I don’t have “daddy issues”, as I have a fantastic relationship with my dad. He’s an amazing man and has always been by my side through everything.’
She explained that ‘meeting Mick has been a blessing’ after a string of toxic relationships, adding: ‘I am so lucky to be with a man who treats me with respect and makes me truly happy every single day.’
In a heartbreaking twist, Erin then revealed that ‘it’s also a blessing’ Mick has children from a previous relationship because she ‘cannot have kids ever’ due to her medical issues.
Statement: Erin strenuously denied Mick is her ‘sugar daddy’. She also said that it’s a ‘blessing’ to date an older man who already has children because she cannot have kids of her own
He’s almost twice her age! Erin went on to clarify that she is ’24 years old and Mick is 43′
She added: ‘When we move forward in our relationship, I’m not taking away a big life moment from him ever wanting kids, because he already has children and has enjoyed that moment in his life.
‘It’s a tough think to be a woman dating someone and having to tell them they can never have children [with you]. It can cause such a strain on a relationship, you all have no idea.’
In a previous interview with NW, Erin revealed she is unable to carry children because she has ‘a small pelvic area’.
Erin went on to clarify that she is ’24 years old and Mick is 43′, adding: ‘This is what everyone wants to know, so [there] is it. The big age gap “reveal”.’
She concluded: ‘I’m an adult and can do what I want. I’m not hurting anyone, I’m not doing anything wrong by anyone.
‘At the end of the day, I’m grateful to be in a relationship with a man I can trust and feel safe around.’
Milestone: Earlier this month, Erin revealed she had just moved in with Mick, six months after first going public with their relationship
Earlier this month, Erin revealed she had just moved in with Mick, six months after first going public with their relationship.
Fan response to the Instagram announcement was mixed, however, with some cruel trolls mocking her taste in men.
‘He looks about 60!’ one person commented, while another added: ‘He is punching way above his weight, not gonna lie.’
‘He looks about 60!’ Fan response to the Instagram announcement was mixed, however, with some cruel trolls mocking her taste in men
Here come the trolls! One of Erin’s followers cruelly described her as a ‘gold digger’
Fortunately, there were also plenty of fans offering words of support.
‘You deserve it so much babe! From watching you in Love Island to following you on Insta, I can tell you’re happy,’ one supporter wrote.
Before dating Mick, the Melbourne native was in a relationship with Eden Dally, who she met on the first season of Love Island last year.
Eden and Erin called it quits in September 2018 and have criticised each other publicly on multiple occasions since.
Case of the ex: Before dating Mick, Erin was in a relationship with Eden Dally (left), who she met on the first season of Love Island last year