The year was 2005, when the former football player John Arne Riise (40) ended up on the front page of VG. The background was that Riise had sent the same text message to several celebrity women, to invite them to dates.
Several media eventually slammed in, and Riise’s action ended up being referred to as the “SMS scandal”.
After VG’s front page was shared with the rest of Norway’s population, Riise chose to remain silent, before finally speaking to Se og Hør the same year.
– It was idiotic, and I have laughed a little at myself in retrospect. I may have flirted a little too much, but I only got nice answers. The purpose has only been to get in touch with some cute girls I appreciate. And I do not say no to an SMS flirtation, he said.
To Dagbladet, Riise has previously stated that the media coverage hit him hard. The former football professional made no secret of the fact that he felt ridiculed and misunderstood.
– I have never experienced anything like writing. All TV shows should shit me out. It was heavy, and I was far down at times, he admitted.
In the same interview, Riise promised a solid settlement with the SMS scandal in his own autobiography, and what he thought was a skewed and incorrect presentation. In 2017 came the book “Advantages and disadvantages of being John Arne Riise”, and there was as promised: The SMS scandal was one of the topics. You can read more about that here.
In the recent episode of the VG podcast “Give me all the details”, where influences and author Linnéa Myhre (30) direct the show, it is precisely Riise’s SMS scandal that is the theme.
For 35 minutes you get to hear about the much talked about incident from start to finish, where the influencer among other things discusses previous cases and interviews. It is at the end of the episode that Myhre gets into his own Riise history.
Myhre first comes with a clear encouragement that one must remember to be kind to each other, before she admits that she herself was one of those who slammed herself and made fun of Riise’s SMS fuss.
– Even if you become a damn good football player, you still get lasting but from being banned and teased. And there I have to lie down myself, who has also fallen for the temptation and been funny at the expense of John Arne. I made fun of him just because everyone else did it, and I’m really ashamed of that, Myhre says honestly in the podcast.
The influencer points out in the podcast that at one point she took courage and apologized to Riise.
– I must admit that it was hard to go to John Arne Riise at a party and apologize, but even harder is to be the one who has always been teased, bullied, felt excluded, different and misunderstood, she continues.
Furthermore, Myhre admits that she was very surprised by Riise’s reaction to the apology.
– That he should smile, take me by the hand, say that it was okay and that we forget it. But I should have known that, he is the one and only, John Arne Riise – the legend, she says.
To See and Hear, Myhre says that she is happy that she understood the consequences of the hacking, and was asked to apologize.
– However, it took some time and life experience before I understood it, but when you do, the least you can do is apologize. It may not help, but John Arne was generous and accepted, and I am grateful for that, she writes in a text message to See and Hear.
Appreciated the apology
John Arne Riise points out that Myhre’s ridicule was part of a bigger picture.
– Her bullying was still harmless in contrast to how some women with podcast success sit and bully weekly, and promote false allegations, he says.
Riise emphasizes that he does not bear any grudge against Myhre today.
– I think Linnaeus is smart and reflective, and a person I respect highly. She has apologized, and it takes courage and strength. Wish more were like her, the former football star believes.
Riise further points out that if he himself has contributed to many people laughing and eating, even at his expense, it is better than that they are angry.
– I am a person that many hate, but I think most people who hate me do not know me. I get to work with how I appear in the media. I’m probably a person who sometimes thinks more with his heart than with his head, he thinks.
When he looks back today on the SMS fuss, Riise believes first and foremost that all women deserve to be treated uniquely and specifically.
– I learned that the hard way, he states to See and Hear.
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