THE Apprentice candidate Lottie Lion has been branded racist by one of her co-stars today after she tried to play down an offensive jibe to an Asian co-star.
The Sun on Sunday exclusively revealed how the 19-year-old told rival Lubna Farham, 33, “Shut up, Gandhi” in a WhatsApp group among contestants.
Following the reports, she was quick to deny the claims tweeting: “Do not believe everything you read online.
“Utterly disgusting & untrue articles published by the Sun designed to ruin my career. It is desperate what some people will say for a bit of money.
“Racism is unacceptable but so is false news. I won’t be entertaining this further.”
Following her tweet, another contestant, Souleyman Bah, rubbished her denials.
He also took to social media to write: “Of course it’s true, I watched as you posted that message and felt so disgusted at how you could be so blatantly racist towards Lubna and also the comment about black people is subtlety showing off that you’re so posh you don’t mix with people like us (And no I wasn’t the source).”
Souleyman was referring to a row between the contestants after Lottie claimed she had never spoken to a black person before – which was then proven untrue after an image of her with a black friend was posted in the WhatsApp group.
Lottie is then claimed to have told Lubna, who sent the image, to “f*** off” and that she would “f****** knock you out.”
The messages, including when Lottie referred to Lubna, whose parents are Pakistani, as “Gandhi”, are believed to have been sent after filming had finished for this series.
BBC: NO COMMENT
Lottie, from Somerset, and Lubna, from Luton, were seen bickering in the first episode of the BBC programme, where they were tasked with pitching a wine tasting tour around Cape Town.
Lubna has declined to comment on the race claims although Lottie insists people are “making up stories” about her. The BBC has also declined to comment.
She said she appreciated the messages “could come across as offensive” but were “a joke” before asking people not to make judgement.
The comments were taken out of context, and I again ask the public not to make judgment without knowing the full context.
Following on from her tweet, Lottie told The Sun today: “When I said the story was untrue, I was referring to the allegations that I would ever be racist.
“My use of the word Gandhi was misinterpreted, it was as candidates in the group chat had been quoting Gandhi previously.
“The comments were taken out of context, and I again ask the public not to make judgment without knowing the full context.
“At the moment, I would like my focus to be on the show, and I’m not interested in negative media attention.”
Lottie also denied saying she had never spoken to a black person – despite Lubna mentioning it in a message.
Mahatma Gandhi led the fight for Indian independence from Britain before his murder aged 78 in 1948.
A friend of a candidate found the comment used by Lottie racist, and alerted The Sun on Sunday.
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