The girlfriend of Sports Personality of the Year nominee Greg Rutherford has been sent a barrage of “derogatory, aggressive” messages online by fans of Rutherford’s rival, boxer Tyson Fury.
Susie Verill, mother to the couple’s one-year-old son Milo, said she was “utterly shocked” by the messages, comprising “relentless suggestions of sexual punishment”.
They were sent after Rutherford threatened to pull out of the BBC award show, voicing misgivings about sharing the stage with Fury.
The Olympic, world, Commonwealth and European long jump champion condemned the "very out-dated and derogatory comments" recently expressed by the boxer on homosexuality, paedophilia and abortion.
He eventually rescinded his withdrawal from the ceremony, won last night by Andy Murray, after being asked to stay on by the BBC.
Fury apologised on stage for the homophobic and sexist comments, which included the suggestion that "a woman's best place is in the kitchen and on her back".
He remained on the BBC’s shortlist and came fourth overall - despite some 130,000 people signing a petition calling for his removal.
The messages sent to Miss Verill, seen by The Sun, are said to refer to her as a "little slut" and threaten serious sexual violence.