ENI Aluko says she has fled the country out of fear after Joey Barton’s sexist rants with pundit Lucy Ward reportedly taking legal action.
But instead apologising after backlash, the ex-Manchester City footballer launched another foul-mouthed tirade, likening Aluko to communist dictators Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot.
Now, Aluko has revealed she has left the UK fearing for her safety after being bombarded by online abuse, in a 15-minute video posted on her Instagram account.
The star said she had not left her house until Friday but is “now abroad” after feeling “genuinely scared”.
The post also included a stark warning that the online abuse of women working in football was in real danger of ending in tragedy.
She wrote: “I’ve genuinely been scared this week. I didn’t leave my house until Friday, and I’m now abroad.
“Because it’s really important to say that online abuse has a direct impact on your safety and how safe you feel in real life. I felt under threat this week. I felt like something was going to happen to me.”
The former England striker also suggested she is taking legal action following Barton’s disgusting rants.
She continued: “If you come out and are racist, or sexist or misogynistic and threaten people online, there are laws for that and that govern that behaviour. It’s not free. It’s not freedom of consequences, either.
“There are consequences for that. And over the past week I’ve taken advice from lawyers and a course of action has now been decided upon.”
Fellow pundit Ward is also set to take legal action over the disgraceful posts, according to the Telegraph.
Barton was already facing Government and legal action over his “dangerous” posts on X, with Stuart Andrew, the sports minister, last week announcing he would “look at” what could be done about the former footballer’s rants about women.
While Barton’s rants appear an attempt to gain publicity ahead of the launch of his podcast, Mr Andrew insisted he must be held accountable.
He said: “These are dangerous comments that open the floodgates for abuse and that’s not acceptable,’ Andrew said at a Department for Culture, Media and Sport select committee.
“I’m slightly wary that these sort of people want the oxygen and I don’t want to fuel that.”
The ITV post said: “For Joey Barton, an ex-professional player with a significant social media presence, to target two of our pundits, Eni Aluko and Lucy Ward, with such vindictive remarks based on gender and to invoke the names of serial killers in doing so is clearly contemptible and shameful on his part.”
Gary Neville backed the statement of ITV, his former employer, in a post on X.
But Barton threatened the former Manchester United star saying he would “get emptied”.
Barton then responded to ITV’s post with a foul-mouthed tirade.
He wrote: “Shut up you f***ing idiots. Keep them off the tele. They’re ruining the game for everyone of us.
“It’s what happens when you force under qualified, under prepared, tokenistic people onto us.
“I will be calling them all serial killers from now on.”
He then doubled down on his remarks, including likening Aluko to dictators Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot.
Stalin was the supreme ruler of the Soviet Union for a quarter of a century, including throughout World War II and is known for his totalitarian communist regime.
Pol Pot, meanwhile, was another communist dictator who ruled Cambodia as Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea in the 70s.
And on January 7 he then continued on his sexist rant against women footballing pundits with another vile accusation.
The former Bristol Rovers manager alleged the experienced stars have used “pillow talk” and their “sexuality to get an advantage”.
The post, on X, formerly Twitter, made several sexist accusations at unnamed women pundits.
“We all know whose marriages you have violated. What info you got from the pillow talk to get ahead…”
“I also, don’t blame you using your sexuality to get an advantage. It’s a big tool and everyone should use all there tools wisely in the game of life.”
Barton is one of football’s most controversial characters, and served time in prison in 2008 for assault.