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Miriam O’Callaghan opens up about stress of ‘expensive’ court case

The RTÉ star said her mother was worried she would ‘lose her house’ during the High Court case.

Miriam O'Callaghan

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Miriam O’Callaghan has revealed the stress behind her “expensive” court case against Facebook.

The RTÉ star launched a legal bid in 2018 after scam ads began to appear on the platform touting a new ant0wrinkle cream.

The ads claimed she had quit her gig at the national broadcaster to focus on her skin care line ‘TryVix’ that never existed.

Miriam took Meta, the owners of Facebook, to the High Court to get a handle on the scam after people started approaching her mother at mass about the presenter’s alleged new venture.

Speaking to RSVP, Miriam said: “It was stressful because it was going on for years. My mother kept saying ‘You will lose your house.’

"It was very expensive to take a case against them and I didn’t do it lightly. I tried everything to get the ads down, but my mum was coming out of Mass and people were saying they heard I left RTÉ to set up my own face cream.”

The broadcaster said she is “delighted” to have won the case as the social network has now set up a device to report scam ads.

"As someone said, maybe I should start that face cream because it sold very well,” she joked.

Miriam admitted to RSVP that a lot of her fellow RTÉ stars are in the same boat, with their faces being used to sell products online.

"I won’t name them,” she said, “but a lot of people it happened to came to me. Sometimes, they can be lucky and it is only one or two posts, but it was relentless for me.

"And people bought my face cream, lots and lots of people!"

Ryan Tubridy has previously pleaded with radio listeners not to fall for online ads that say he has invested in cryptocurrency.

He called the creators of the ads “clowns” when speaking on his RTÉ radio show in September.

"My face shows up going, ‘Tubridy talks about his Bitcoin,” he told listeners.

“I don’t know what Bitcoin is!” he exclaimed.

"So, whoever, whatever creatures in whatever basement in whatever country, or parts of this country, are cobbling together these things and sending them out them, would you stop lads? Because it’s fake news.”

In March, Tubridy told listeners that “the Internet is alive and thriving with scams and financial cruelty to people who are vulnerable.”

It feels like “whack-a-mole” trying to get rid of the false advertisements, Tubridy said.

"They're clever, they use a screengrab, it looks professional, we're trying to get rid of them. What I don't like about these gangsters is that they're stealing. People have lost millions in crypto fraud.”

Disgusted that his face and name were potentially catching people in scams, he had said he “might not be that far behind” fellow RTÉ star Miriam O’Callaghan in taking a case to the courts.

"I only went to lawyers because I was desperate,” Miriam said outside court upon winning an apology from Facebook.

The TV and radio star said she took action to protect her reputation but also “to make sure that there was some kind of new tool introduced, so other Irish people did not have to go through what I went through.”

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