MOLLY-Mae Hague fans fear she has been the victim of a clever marketing ploy after going viral when a podcast interview resurfaced.
The 22-year-old has suffered serious backlash after insisting "we all have the same 24 hours in the day" while on The Diary Of A CEO hosted by Steven Bartlett.
Despite it coming out on December 13, Molly-Mae's comments have caused controversy after being circulated on social media – in the same week the podcast host made his Dragons' Den debut.
It's led many of Molly-Mae's supporters to question the coincidental timing.
Entrepreneur Steven was a huge hit with fans when he became the the youngest Dragon ever to enter the Den this week.
He has strongly denied any claims the timing of the viral podcast was intentional.
One viewer said: "You wonder if the Molly Mae stuff deliberately went viral to coincide with @SteveBartlettSC’s Dragons' Den debut? Interview has been online for weeks, why is it of all of sudden mainstream the day the first show airs on national TV?"
But mogul Steven – believed to be worth £200million – replied: "I’m good at marketing. But I’m not, THIS good at marketing."
Another unconvinced fan added: "Why did it suddenly blow up? The sound bite has been circulating for weeks and people are only just raging? Something doesn’t make sense."
Someone else said: "While I massively disagree with Molly Mae and everything she’s ever represented with fast fashion in the last three years, no one can convince me today’s headlines aren’t a stunt by Steven Bartlett to promote his debut on tonight’s Dragons' Den. That podcast came out WEEKS ago."
Steven has strongly defended Molly-Mae over the backlash, insisting she's being "crucified" because she's a woman.
Multi-millionaire Molly-Mae has been cruelly trolled online, with many accusing her of "tone deaf comments.
She said in the episode: “You’re given one life and it’s down to you what you do with it. You can literally go in any direction.
"When I’ve spoken about that in the past I have been slammed a little bit, with people saying 'it’s easy for you to say that because you’ve not grown up in poverty, so for you to sit there and say we all have the same 24 hours in a day is not correct.'
I've worked my absolute a**e off to get where I am now
"But, technically, what I’m saying is correct. We do," the TV personality continued.
"So I understand that we all have different backgrounds and we’re all raised in different ways and we do have different financial situations, but I do think if you want something enough, you can achieve it.
"It just depends to what lengths you want to go to get where you want to be in the future. And I’ll go to any lengths.
"I’ve worked my absolute a**e off to get where I am now," she concluded.
In an exclusive statement, Molly-Mae's representative insisted her thoughts have been taken out of context and quotes have been fabricated.
But businessman Steven says no one cared when men made similar comments on the podcast.
Defending the PrettyLittleThing creative director, Steven said the "double standard that successful women face" is "crazy".
He also blasted the "absolutely outrageous" level reality star Molly-Mae is held to at just 22 years old.
Steve wrote on Twitter: "Molly Mae did an interview on my podcast, yesterday a soundbite from that interview went viral, she trended No.1 on Twitter, every newspaper covered it and MP's weighed in.
"I've had male guests say what she said. No one cared. But when Molly says it, she's crucified? Crazy.
"I've become very aware of the double standard that successful women face. If I Interview a man, he can brag about money, take full credit for his success and talk about his cars? If I interview a successful women, she's got to tip toe around her success and watch her words?
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"Gender issues aside, the standard we hold Molly Mae to as a 22-year-old that's figuring out the world is absolutely outrageous.
"She once said she didn't like Italian food, it trended No.1 all day, was written about in every newspaper and she had to issue a public apology. 22."
Molly shot to fame on ITV2’s Love Island in 2019 when she and boyfriend Tommy Fury, also 22, finished second.
Nearly three years on from her appearance on the series, Molly has seen her career as an influencer reach new heights, launched her own fake-tan brand and has also become the creative director of PrettyLittleThing.
The businesswoman is thought to be worth around £2million, with the PLT deal being worth seven figures.
The statement approved by the influencer which was released in her defence over the harsh backlash she has received, read: “Molly did a podcast interview in December about her own rise to success. If you listen to the full conversation and interview Molly was asked about how the nature of her potential grows and how she believes in herself.
“This part of the interview was discussing time efficiency relating to success. Molly refers to a quote which says “We all have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce”. She was discussing her own experience and how she can resonate with this specific quote.
“Her opinion on if you want something enough you can work hard to achieve it is how she keeps determined with her own work to achieve more in her own life. Molly is not commenting on anyone else’s life or personal situation she can only speak of her own experience.”
Molly is fully aware that everyone comes from 'different backgrounds'
It goes on to say how Molly is fully aware that everyone comes from “different backgrounds”, but was simply discussing her own journey.
“She acknowledges that everyone is raised in different ways and from different backgrounds but her comments here are in reference to timing, hard work and determination in her own life.
"If you listen to this interview you can see the whole conversation was about her own personal circumstances, how she has grown up and this small clip in the conversation was talking about a quote that inspires her.
“Social media users have shared a short snippet from this interview with words such as “if you are homeless buy a house” and “if you are poor be poor” these are absolutely not Molly’s words, these are not Molly’s thoughts and this isn’t at all the meaning or thought behind that conversation.”
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