04.05.2021
Aston Merrygold discusses his ‘daily’ experiences with racism and abuse at his son

Aston Merrygold has opened up about his experience with racism, and explained how it helped him deal with racist comments his son Grayson has been subjected to by trolls.

The JLS star, 33, said that the vile remarks have helped him to become ‘more protective’ of his three-year-old child, and that he was ‘always ready’ for his biracial son to be targeted due to the racism he himself experienced.

Aston explained that he also knows these comments are aimed more specifically at him rather than Grayson, as he clearly runs the tot’s Instagram account.

As well as Grayson, Aston is also father to son Macaulay, 11 months, with partner Sarah Louise Richards.

‘I was always ready for that to happen. The only reason I would say I would be prepared for it is because of me going through racism through childhood, adulthood, on a daily basis, you see stuff, it’s as clear as day.

‘You know I’ve gained my knowledge, I’ve gained my experience, and I know how to kind of handle that and how I want to handle that.’

He went on: ‘Getting those kind of comments at this age, it was a bit like, “I’m never gonna”. Firstly, it’s obviously not his [Grayson’s] Instagram.

‘This is an Instagram that we run that, especially in lockdown, we’re like, we wanna show his progress. Our families don’t get to see that, our friends don’t get to see that, so that was the point in us posting a bit more stuff.

‘So when stuff like that is posted, harmful comments that are posted under pictures and stuff, I know that’s not sent for Grayson, that’s sent for me!

‘Only an absolute moron would think that a three-year-old is scrolling through Instagram and going, “I’m gonna post this picture”. It says in the account, managed by me and Sarah. So that’s aimed for me.’

On a more positive note, Aston spoke about reuniting with his JLS bandmates – JB Gill, Marvin Humes and Oritse Williams – and their upcoming comeback tour, which is scheduled to take place this November.

He explained: ‘The tour is there, it’s set, we are good to go. The first time round it was a whole new experience and everything was like, “Wow, this is cool”.

‘Now, it’s a bit like, instead of stuff like rolling in at 4am, I’ve gotta get up and I’ve gotta deal with these two [children Grayson and Macaulay].

‘It’s going to be a whole new experience, the kids are gonna be with us on the road at certain times, all of us dads, all of us older, uglier, just a little bit more broken than we were.’

Aston had previously spoken about vile trolls targeting Grayson during an appearance on Loose Women last year.

The singer spoke candidly about his reaction to finding the racial abuse and said he plans on ‘tackling this to the fullest’ extent.

He said: ‘I was overcome with rage. I was speaking to my partner, she had to calm me down. I was like, “I need to get in my car and I need to find this person”.

‘I’ve had thick skin since I was very young, experiencing racism, but as a parent, I was never prepared to see that.’

Aston added that after his initial reaction he then thought they needed to deal with the comment ‘the right way’.

He continued: ‘I said, “Right OK, we need to tackle this the right way. We need to do it publicly and make sure people can’t get away with this”.

‘Speaking to the police and social platforms, you need to keep reporting it. Blocking people and deleting messages [is not enough], you need to keep reporting it.

‘Talk about it. Keep it vocal. Everybody needs to be aware that this stuff goes on all the time. The more it’s reported the more power authorities will have.’

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    ‘She’s in all day in one spot in the living room and all she can hear is the screaming and the madness going on in the house.’

    The candid video then showed an ‘exhausted’ Peter running after his two youngest children as they explored the house, jumped on furniture and lay on top of a pile of laundry.

    Later during the YouTube footage, Princess entertained Amelia and Theodore with an oversized microphone.

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    Earlier this week, Junior told fans that he ‘doesn’t want to die’ while sharing a dramatic update on how he’s feeling amid his coronavirus battle.

    The teen detailed how his symptoms have been changing, explaining that he’s now suffering from a ‘sore throat’ but originally had a banging head and achey body.

    Speaking during an Instagram Live, the son of Peter Andre and Katie Price also reassured fans that although not feeling 100 per cent it’s ‘not severe, just annoying’.

    During the Live video chat, filmed while he’s in isolation with his family at his dad’s house, some of Junior’s followers asked if he was worried.

    Staying positive, Junior replied: ‘Don’t manifest it. Listen, if it happens it happens. But I know God wants me to live my life to the finish, so I’m not gonna die from Covid and if I do, I do. I don’t wanna die.’

    Junior then detailed how his ‘severe… just annoying’ symptoms have changed since he started feeling poorly, before admitting that he’s a little baffled as to why he’s been getting them as a young person.

    He said: ‘The first few days, my head was the worst. My head was banging so much. I don’t know how I got symptoms, because I’m a child, I’m 15. But my head was banging, my body was aching, my throat was fine.

    ‘And then all of a sudden my body’s sort of stopped aching… my head still bangs but not as much… but my throat is so sore. It’s killing me.

    ‘It’s not part of the symptoms I don’t think, but maybe I’ve got something else with Covid. Yeah, I have Covid.’

    Junior also detailed how feeling achey and having a ‘bad backache’ has meant he’s had trouble staying occupied as he can’t play his PlayStation 5.

    He explained that looking at his phone or the TV screen while playing his games can make his ‘head hurt’ so he ‘doesn’t actually know what to do’.

    He then continued that although he does have Covid and is showing a series of symptoms: ‘It’s not severe… it’s just annoying.’

    Junior’s sister Princess also gave fans an insight into their time in isolation as she shared a video to Instagram last week.

    The teenager filmed herself while she was waiting for dad Peter to prepare the family’s lunch, admitting that she was ‘so bored’.

    Showing their close bond, Princess and her doting dad bantered about making cups of tea each evening before having an ‘opera-off’ and him belting out ‘Figero’.

    Princess also received a call from her mum Katie while she was on live with her Instagram followers, but declined the call saying it was probably her sister Bunny.

    Junior announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 in an Instagram post shared on 29 April.

    He posted a message with his followers that read: ‘I have tested positive for COVID.’

    In the statement, which was posted on a black background, the teenager also included anguished and fuming emojis.

    It marks Junior’s third brush with the virus. In March 2020, Junior revealed that he was showing symptoms of coronavirus, just hours after his father expressed fears over his children contracting it.

    Taking to Instagram Stories, Junior said that while he has not been diagnosed, he was making sure he was staying safe.

    Junior said: ‘These aren’t easy times as we know. I am videoing this to tell you I am showing symptoms of the coronavirus. It is not me saying I have it , I am showing symptoms. Everyone please stay safe these aren’t easy times like I said.’

    In November, Junior was forced to isolate again due to a coronavirus outbreak at his school. According to his dad, Junior was annoyed he still had to complete his lessons at home but luckily didn’t have any symptoms.

    The teenager splits his time between his father and mother’s homes, as does his sister Princess Andre, 13, who Peter 48, also shares with Katie, 42.

    Peter split from the former glamour model in 2009 after four years of marriage and went on to welcome Amelia, seven, and Theo, four, with his current wife Emily, 31.

    Katie is mum to Harvey, 18, from her relationship with Dwight Yorke. While she welcomed Bunny, six, and Jett, seven, with ex Kieran Hayler.

    Peter also tested positive for Covid in December, while his wife Emily – who has been working as a frontline NHS doctor during the pandemic – tested positive in June.

    As for Junior’s mum Katie, she received her first vaccine in April alongside her beau Carl Woods, with both falling sick with a fever and nausea afterwards.

    Katie’s eldest son Harvey has now been fully vaccinated against the virus. The teen was rushed to hospital in February after his first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine caused his temperature to sky-rocket.

    He has allegedly suffered little reaction to his second dose.

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Showbiz Aston Merrygold discusses his 'daily' experiences with racism and abuse at his son