Arsenal fan and Bollywood star Esha Gupta has been slammed online after sharing racist remarks aimed at Alex Iwobi on Instagram, describing the Nigerian as a ‘gorilla’.
The Indian actress is a well-known Arsenal fan and has been spotted at the Emirates Stadium watching games in the past. She was also reported to have previously been dating Hector Bellerin.
However, after the Gunners’ FA Cup defeat by Manchester United on Friday night, the 33-year-old posted a screenshot of a WhatsApp conversation between herself and another person on Instagram.
The image showed messages exchanged between herself and Varun_Gupta17, with one of the messages reading: ‘Solves our winger issues. I can’t see that gorilla faced Iwobi running down the flank again. He’s so bad ya.’
She replied: ‘Hahahahahaha I honestly dunno why they don’t bench him more.’
Varun_Gupta17 added: ‘It’s like evolution stopped for him. Didn’t change from Neanderthal to man.’
Gupta quickly deleted the screenshot from her Instagram account but eagle-eyed fans had quickly managed to screenshot their own version.
After coming under fire on social media for the post she issued an apology and insisted there was no racial intention behind it.
Gupta wrote: ‘Guys I’m sorry you thought it was racist. Was bad on my part, being a sports lover. Wallah never meant it. Sorry guys forgive the stupidity.’
‘Well it was my fault. So gotta own up to my s***… sorry. It was us discussing our frustration during the game. Sorry as I didn’t realise it was directed towards racism.
‘Laughed over spur of the moment, which was the games result guys. Been victim of racism myself before. But this is not something I’m proud of. It was a fault, sorry guys.’
Fans were quick to condemn Gupta on social media as she received major backlash for her post.
Gupta’s bond with Bellerin and the club was evident when she helped the Spaniard to launch last season’s blue away kit.
The Bollywood actress, who had previously been on dinner dates with the Gunners defender, modelled the new strip in Arsenal’s club shop.
Speaking to millions of supporters on Snapchat, she wore the social media site’s Spectacles to speak to fans in north London as part of the unveiling.
Gupta is a former Miss India International winner most known for her roles in horror film Raaz and 2016 thriller Rustom.