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  1. ITV Report

Katie Price 'glad' to have put son in public eye despite online abuse

Despite the abuse he has received online, Katie Price says she is glad she has put her son Harvey in the public eye because she is "proud" of him and hopes their experiences will bring about a change in the law.

Giving evidence to MPs, the former glamour model said online abuse should be made a specific offence following social media attacks against Harvey, and that there should be a register of such offenders.

Speaking alongside her mother, Amy, Ms Price told the Commons Petitions Committee of some of the horrific abuse her 15-year-old son had received, including comments telling him to "go die", making sex videos on him, being the subject of racist abuse, and generally being mocked for being partially blind, autistic and having Prader-Willi syndrome.

Katie Price believes Harvey receives online abuse as he is seen as an 'easy target'. Credit: PA

Ms Price said that of her five children, the vast majority of abuse is directed at Harvey as he is seen as "an easy target" and due to his disabilities, "has no voice to reply...

"But I'm his voice, I'm going to stand up for him," the reality TV star continued.

Ms Price was giving evidence to MPs after they triggered an inquiry into online abuse following a petition she launched which gathered 220,000 signatures in just one week.

Asked if she believed her high profile and placing her children in the public eye, posting photos and videos of them online, had contributed to the abuse, she said: "I am actually glad now that I have put myself in the public eye.

"I am extremely happy that I have shown Harvey because there are so many people - I get letters all the time - from people who have got children or family members with disabilities, they don't know how to cope with it.

"I'm proud of Harvey... If I wasn't in the public eye, I would not be sitting here now because I would not have got 220,000 signatures in one week.

"So I'm actually glad throughout my career, whatever people think of me, this isn't about me.

"Like me or hate me, I'm here to protect others and I'm actually glad - it might have taken me 25 years to achieve something by sitting here and if I can make a new law."

Katie Price's mother, Amy, also gave evidence to the committee. Credit: PA

Ms Price told the committee that the law had failed to keep up with the changing use of technology and desperately needed updating.

She recounted how she had gone to police over a sex video made on Harvey, and although they agreed that the abuse was terrible, police were "embarrassed" by the fact that they were powerless to act as there were no specific charges relating to online abuse that they could bring.

"Since then it has just continued, it has got worse and worse - you name it, Harvey gets it," Ms Price added.

She added she had tried "naming and shaming" trolls herself but added "online is the future and there needs to be some more security checks".

The former model continued that she was not seeking a new law, which she referred to as "Harvey's law", just for her son, but for everyone who suffers online abuse since it was driving some to suicide.

Ending her session, Ms Price told the room that "there is not one person I've spoken to who wouldn't agree with me [that online abuse is terrible]... we just need the Government to do something about it".