News Irish News

Friday 20 April 2018

Emma Murphy: Man in hiding after being accused of beating ex-partner

Emma Murphy and Francis Usanga
Emma Murphy and Francis Usanga

Adam Cullen and Conor Feehan

The man accused of assaulting his former partner in a viral internet video has "gone to ground", according to his colleagues.

Dublin mum Emma Murphy (26) made the allegations against Francis Usanga (28) in a video posted on Facebook on Monday. The five-minute clip has been viewed more than six million times.

Co-workers at Mr Usanga's Dublin gym, FX Fitness in Santry, told the Irish Independent that he had "gone to ground for a few days" in a bid to escape the media spotlight. He has also deleted his personal and business social media pages.

In the damning video, Emma, who is the mother of Mr Usanga's two young children, claimed he punched her in the face after she confronted him about cheating on her.

A Garda spokesperson last night said they are following a "definite line of enquiry" in relation to the assault of the young woman. It is believed the incident occurred outside Mr Usanga's gym on July 3.

Emma has said that she has been overwhelmed by the reaction to her homemade video.

"I needed to be a good role model for my kids and I needed the strength from somewhere. By posting the video that I did, I've reached so many people," she said.

Read more: Brave Emma Murphy's estranged partner says he 'is not a violent person'

"People all around the world are contacting me saying 'thank you, thank you'.

"It's so hard because every woman wants the perfect family. No family's perfect but looking at my little boy, it kills me," Emma told TV3's Midday show in an interview to be broadcast later today.

Emma's story has made international headlines and she has been approached by a UK television broadcaster about appearing on an afternoon show.

Mr Usanga told The Irish Sun newspaper that he had cheated on his partner and that he pushed her. However, he strenuously denied that he punched her and claimed Emma's black eye, which was clearly visible in her video, was caused when she fell after being pushed.

Mr Usanga has appeared as a fitness guru on RTE's 'Today' show. He studied at the Gaiety School of Acting and starred as a doctor in TV3 soap 'Red Rock' and in Oscar-winning movie 'Once' alongside Glen Hansard.

RTE said he was not due to appear on any future programmes, but did not rule out that he may again at some point in time. TV3 said it could not comment as to whether Mr Usanga would appear in any future shows and would await the Garda investigation.

"Like many others, we have seen what is a very powerful video," TV3 added.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News