The Outlander cast has Sam Heughan's back after he opened up on Twitter about facing online harassment over the last six years.
The 39-year-old actor, who plays Jamie Fraser on the popular Starz television series, shared a message on Thursday about the "constant bullying, harassment, stalking and false narrative" he's endured since the historical drama debuted in 2014. In a lengthy Twitter post, Heughan wrote that both he and people he's associated with have "been subjected to personal slurs, shaming, abuse, death threats, stalking, sharing of private information and vile, false narrative." He shared that just some of the "false claims" he's faced as of late "vary from me manipulating fans, being a closeted homosexual, trying to mislead or exhort fans for money and disregarding [COVID-19] advice."
"I've done non [sic] of the above," he wrote. "I'm a normal guy and nothing like the characters I play."
Heughan's close castmates quickly rallied to his defense, including his onscreen wife, Caitriona Balfe.
"Sad that Sam has had to come out and say all this," Balfe tweeted. "I would have thought mean b**chy behaviour would have been left in the school yard. But unfortunately a VERY SMALL but very vocal part of this fandom use their energy to write and say awful untrue things ... maybe they should harness all that energy to get involved in their local charities... And honestly it's quite simple ... If you don't like us .. it's a big beautiful world out there. Find something you do love and enjoy that. Life as it's all too clear right now is short. Why waste it hating."
..harness all that energy to get involved in their local charities... And honestly it’s quite simple ... If you don’t like us .. it’s a big beautiful world out there. Find something you do love and enjoy that. Life as it’s all too clear right now is short. Why waste it hating.— Caitriona Balfe (@caitrionambalfe) April 17, 2020
Steven Cree, who plays Ian Murray on the show, also showed his support for the Scottish actor.
"Very sad that it's got to a point where a guy like Sam, truly one of the nicest & most positive people I know, feels he has to post this," Cree tweeted. "Since Outlander became a worldwide phenomenon, he’s always led the line in exemplary fashion; not to mention his incredible charity work too."
Meanwhile, executive producer Maril Davis tweeted, "A sad reminder that we all need to be respectful and kind to one another xx @SamHeughan."
Check out more messages of support from the Outlander family.
Of course sending you love always xxx— Lauren Lyle (@LlaurenLyle) April 17, 2020
As ever, I’m proud of you my friend. Sending you much love xx— Tim Downie (@TimDownie1) April 17, 2020
Just seen this & I am SHOCKED that one of the nicest humblest guys I have ever worked with has been subject to ANY kind of abuse let alone on this scale. Sorry u have had to experience this @SamHeughan & well done for speaking out. Use this to deflect the trolls 👇🏾#Staysafe🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/MpQvgvaij0— Colin McFarlane (@colinmcfarlane) April 17, 2020
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I want to add my support to @samheughan and his bravery in standing up to online bullying. Sam is a wonderful actor, a kind person, and a generous friend. I stand in solidarity with you. Always got your back. And to all the online bullies, let me just say: “Thank you, lieutenant Leonard!”
I don't know what possesses some people, but the bottom line is that Sam's private life is exactly that. _Nothing_ he does is anyone else's business. https://t.co/8vO4tE5v2M— Diana Gabaldon (@Writer_DG) April 17, 2020
Meanwhile, ET spoke with both Heughan and 40-year-old Balfe in January ahead of Outlander's fifth season -- which premiered in February -- and they talked about what was ahead for their characters, Jamie and Claire. Heughan called their characters "soulmates," and Balfe talked about their deepening love for one another. Watch the video below for more: