A Ballymoney woman is at the centre of a worldwide storm after making an innocent jokey t-shirt for her boyfriend to warn off other women from approaching him while on holiday in Ibiza.
Abbie Bartlett (20), who moved to Tynemouth with her Ballycastle boyfriend Leon Connolly (24) three years ago, got the t-short made with a montage of pictures of them together and the words ‘I love my girlfriend Abbie, I hate the girls in Ibiza, so please stay away from me’ printed on.
However the local couple, who have ben together for six years and have a five-year-old daughter, had no idea the massive media and public attention it would create.
Abbie explained: “We’re always pulling pranks on each other, our relationship is based on having fun. I was with him when he booked to go on holiday with friends to Ibiza and I said I was going to make a t-shirt for him to wear. He said ‘you wouldn’t’ and I just replied ‘watch me.’”
Abbie revealed the t-shirt to Leon a few days before he left to go on a “lads” holiday going to Ireland for a few days before heading off to Ibiza.
“He saw the funny side of it because it is really just a joke, he and I have a really similar sense of humour,” she joked.
However since she posted the picture on Facebook on September 5 of Leon wearing the t-shirt, Abbie has had over a million likes on her personal account from people throughout the world including Asia, Australia, Canada and Africa and the phrase ‘#whipped’ has even gone viral on Twitter.
She has also received huge media and public attention appearing in national newspapers, on television and radio and in online polls.
She has also faced a barrarge of insulting and rude comments calling her ‘clingy’ ‘bunny boiler’ and ‘phyco’.
On Sept 9 Abbie commented:
‘Haha Scott Mills DJ has made a personal request for Leon to contact him, radio one big time’.
‘So we were on the tv and we didnt even know about it Rylan Clark said it was his fave story of the year and that he understands and respects me on the Wright Show this morning... check it out actually takes away from all the negatives!’
However Abbie, a criminology student at Northumbria University has not taken the insults to heart and continues to tweet and post messages despite the negative comments.
Abbie said: “I am not an insecure, crazy girlfriend. It’s just a joke. 90% of people think it’s hilarious and it’s only 10% who seem to lack in a sense of humour and don’t understand.”
On her facebook site she added: ‘Anyone who knows me and Leon know that we have literally the best relationship ever, and we sure as hell haven’t got any trust issues, he does his thing I do my thing and that’s the way it works out for us I’m not insecure or physco in any way at all (I don’t think I am) we just know how to have craic, and I actually hope he has a class time in Ibiza all the luck in the world to the girls over there if they crack him he’s yours gals haha.’
Abbie added: “Leon said he definitely will wear it in Ibiza now because he’s practically famous, but I think it might have the opposite effect. Now that everyone has seen it online I think it might just attract loads of girls.
“We met when we were really young and have been together ever since. I trust him completely and we’ve been on separate holidays before, that’s just how our relationship works, we do our own thing.”
Leon, who attended Cross and Passion College, agreed: “At first I thought is she serious? She wanted me to wear it to all the big clubs like Pacha etc. But now I get that it’s a joke I’m happy enough to go along with it, that’s just how our relationship is it’s just silly.
“People have been saying that wearing the t-shirt might attract girls, some girls will definitely take it as some sort off challenge.
“I just have to laugh about it, Abbie is the only girl for me and we both know that!”
More online: www.ballymoneytimes.co.uk