Concern quickly turned to outrage on Sunday evening as Joey Turner modelled a T-shirt emblazoned with a controversial slogan.
The former TOWIE cast-member, 20, had already prompted alarm from social media followers after revealing his extreme weight loss in a series of posed, professional shots.
But he courted a different type of attention across Instagram as the weekend drew to a close by wearing a T-shirt bearing the message: ‘I love knife play.’
Bold statement: Concern quickly turned to outrage on Sunday evening as Joey Turner modelled a T-shirt emblazoned with a controversial Love Knife Play slogan
Joey offset the look with a fitted miniskirt while leaning against a neon next to a Soho sex shop.
The ex TV personality, now a fashion student, wore the T-shirt as knife crime across inner-city London and the rest of the United Kingdom reaches unprecedented levels.
A recent statistic from the Ben Kinsella trust estimated a 29 percent increase in knife related crime across the country since 2011, with more than 40 fatalities recorded since the turn of the year.
Mixed response: Bizarrely captioning the image with Russian text, translated as as ‘fatal attraction,’ Joey felt the wrath of followers infuriated by his apparent lack of common sense
Bizarrely captioning the image with Russian text, translated as as ‘fatal attraction,’ Joey felt the wrath of followers infuriated by his apparent lack of common sense.
One wrote: ‘Seriously wtf are you doing!!!! Your platform, and what your putting out there is disturbing….. not sure what message your trying to put across but whatever it is it’s not right ….. ‘
Another raged: ‘Grow up what example are you giving out.’
While a third added: ‘I love knife play’ seriously grow up!!! That’s a vile statement.’
However others defended the former TV personality, with one writing: ‘This is f**king annoying!!! It’s clearly a sexual reference nothing to do with murder, it’s how people interpret it that’s the problem, not who is posting it, just leave him be and if your twisted mind thinks of bad crimes then that lies with you…Not him!!
‘Fed up of seeing a lovely lad being slated, unfollow him if you don’t like what he posts…SIMPLE…Keep doing you Joey.’
Tanning: Joey Turner, 20, revealed he was topping up his tan on Tuesday when he took to Instagram to share photos of himself lying naked in a sunbed
Last month, Joey was forced to hit back at fans who expressed concern at his new slimmed-down appearance.
The reality star – who left The Only Way Is Essex six months ago – said in a statement: ‘I am not your role model.
‘If I’m honest I’m not phased by the comments, I just want those who are about me to know I’m okay.
‘I don’t care about the comments simply because it’s hard to care for the opinions of people that know nothing about me, my diet, my metabolism or my medical history with my weight.
‘I’m a 20-year-old student, I’m not on TV. I’m a student like any other and I am not your role model, so if you want someone to look up to I suggest putting someone else on a pedestal because I am not him.’
Caption: The former TOWIE star captioned his post: ‘Ultraviolet’
Concerns: In recent weeks Joey has been showing off his staggering weight loss in a series of photos fans have branded ‘disturbing’
Comments: Over the past weeks, Joey’s social media followers have expressed their concern over his slim frame
Just last week, he sparked concern again when she shared a photo of himself propped up against a bar on Instagram alongside the caption: ‘white lines, pretty baby.’
Beneath the snap, one social media user wrote: ‘Seriously, this is no joke, not a good influence at all, quite shocking really, get some help plz.’
Another added: ‘What are you doing to yourself? Your poor parents must be worried sick,’ while a third said: ‘I really hope you get the help you need before it’s too late’.
Joey recently told The Sun: ‘I weigh seven and half stone, but I don’t weigh myself. I don’t care about how much I weigh. I am skinny, I can’t help that I am skinny. I am not going to apologise to anyone.’
He recently said: ‘I can’t help that I am skinny. I am not going to apologise to anyone’
Joey, who at 5ft 11ins has ‘always had a long, thin frame’, reaffirmed that there was nothing to worry about, seeing as he eats what he believes is a healthy diet.
During a typical day, Joey will enjoy a bowl of Special K, a salad for lunch and sushi for dinner. When out, he drinks vodka with water.
‘I don’t eat loads. I am not really a foodie, that’s not me being anorexic, I just don’t care to participate in gluttony,’ he remarked.
Joey became a firm favourite on TOWIE after joining with a wave of new cast members in 2019 however he stepped away earlier this year.
In his statement released upon leaving the show he wrote: ‘After two and a half years of being on the show, I have decided to take a step back and create a new path for myself.
‘I started the show when I was 17 years old after being approached by producers asking if I was interested in being on TV.
‘Like any other 17-year-old would have done, I said yes and so I quit studying and started filming.
‘Even though I was basically a child when I started I have had the most fun experience and made so many amazing friends.
‘I am incredibly grateful for the entire experience and now it’s time for the next chapter.’
New direction: After leaving TOWIE Joey applied to university in Manchester to study fashion