Laura Anderson broke down in tears on Tuesday after admitting she’s lost work due to backlash following her pre-lockdown trip to Dubai.
The Love Island star, 31, couldn’t hide her emotions in a new interview where she confessed the controversy surrounding her trip was the ‘hardest thing she’s ever had to deal with.’
Laura was among a slew of reality stars and influencers who were criticised by fans and Home Secretary Priti Patel for travelling to Dubai ahead of the Covid lockdown under the ruse of it being a ‘business trip’.
Emotional: Laura Anderson broke down in tears on Tuesday after admitting she’s lost work due to backlash following her pre-lockdown trip to Dubai
Speaking on Nicki Chapman’s Talking Success as reported by The Sun, Laura tearfully confessed she struggled to cope with the trolling she faced for flying to the United Arab Emirates while the UK still had a travel corridor with the country.
She said: ‘This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with.
‘It was so hard to stick up for myself. I understand the whole pandemic, I am not a silly little girl. It is really hard and it still going on now. It was a really hard decision to go over.
‘I’ve lost followers, I’ve lost jobs. It has made me reconsider my future in this industry.’
Tough: The Love Island confessed the controversy surrounding her trip was the ‘hardest thing she’s ever had to deal with’
Laura clarified that while she posted many of her Instagram snaps once England had entered lockdown in January, she legally flew to Dubai while the UAE had an air brief with the UK.
The star insisted she returned home before the government introduced a ban on international travel.
Regardless she was one of many stars claiming their trips were for business reasons and thus did not break coronavirus rules.
Laura was forced to turn off comments on her Instagram posts after being trolled relentlessly for her break, which she insisted was to stay with her sister as she couldn’t bear spending another lockdown alone in Scotland.
The star said she’s planning on a permanent move to Dubai to launch a business, but didn’t want to share her plans while she was abroad.
Rage: Laura was among a slew of reality stars and influencers who were criticised for travelling to Dubai ahead of the Covid lockdown under the ruse of it being a ‘business trip’
Laura was among many influencers who faced furious online backlash for flying abroad at the height of Covid travel restrictions under the ruse of it being a ‘business trip.’
Ahead of the lockdown, government guidelines stated travel abroad may only be allowed for ‘essential work reasons.’
Laura, who has since returned to the UK, shared her thoughts on the backlash during an Instagram Q and A, after being asked whether she felt guilty about being in Dubai.
She said: ‘I felt guilty the whole time. I don’t think anyone realised how bad the strain would get, and how quickly. So hearing people upset, I felt horrific.’
Clarifying: The star insisted she travelled to the United Arab Emirates when travel was allowed, and admitted the trolling she’s faced has made her question whether to change careers
In a caption on the post she added: ‘The backlash was horrendous and still is. I don’t expect anyone to understand my situation.
‘I apologise to everyone I’ve upset, I truly mean that as it was never my intention.’
Laura was previously forced to delete some of the comments on her sun-soaked bikini snaps after receiving backlash for sharing her exploits.
Home Secretary Priti Patel was among those who criticised stars for documenting their trips on social media.
She was detailing new plans introduced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to have travellers to the UK from 22 ‘red list’ countries quarantine in hotels for 10 days.
Speaking in the House of Commons Patel said: ‘There are travel bans in place for countries that are rest listed and that will continue.
‘The announcement today will also reduce the number of travelling passengers. I do want to emphasise that because people should simply not be travelling.
‘We see the examples, I will call some of them out, border force have given me examples.
‘Even at St Pancras people have been turning up with their skis, which is clearly not acceptable.
“We see plenty of influencers on social media showing off about which parts of the world that they are in, mainly in sunny parts of the world. Going on holiday is not an exemption and it is important that people stay at home.’
Since then Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that anyone returning to the UK from the UAE must quarantine in a hotel for 10 days before they can travel home.
I felt guilty! It comes after Laura said she ‘felt guilty the whole time’ she was away in Dubai after claiming she’d flown to the UAE for a ‘business trip’