In 2020, Eleanor Williams posted on Facebook claiming that she was a victim of an Asian rape gang. This post went viral and resulted in a harsh backlash against Asian-owned businesses in her hometown of Barrow, Cumbria.
However, after being convicted of perverting the course of justice, some of the individuals who were affected by her lies have come forward to speak to the BBC. For their safety, their names have been changed.
They shared the long-lasting effects of Williams’ actions on their lives.
Who is Eleanor Williams?
Eleanor Williams, who was 22 years old, had first made accusations of abuse in 2017, but her claims did not gain widespread attention until the pandemic hit in May 2020. Williams shared a series of social media posts alleging abuse, which quickly went viral and garnered global attention.
A ‘Justice for Ellie’ campaign was launched and gained over 100,000 members on Facebook, with protestors taking to the streets due to the belief that the police were not handling the case adequately.
However, it was later revealed that Williams was already suspected by the police of making up false allegations at the time of her social media posts, which was unknown to the protestors.
In a Facebook post shared in May 2020, Williams accused a group of men of attacking her, even claiming that one of them had forced her to work in a brothel in Amsterdam. She also uploaded photos – which quickly went viral – showing her covered in bruises, including a black eye and a severed finger.