Actress is accused of ‘breach of confidence and personal abuse’ after calling match official a b*****d
Jude Bellingham has been fined £24,000 and issued with a formal warning by football authorities after making lewd comments about the referee on social media.
The actor, who played Samantha in ITV’s hit drama Midsomer Murders from 2005 to 2007, has been ordered to pay a further £14,995 after the Football Association found her guilty of “breach of confidence and personal abuse” on Twitter against Felix Zwayer on 30 November 2017.
Fifty Shades of Sarsbury! Inside football’s naked nights Read more
The 54-year-old posted a statement on Twitter on 30 November describing Zwayer as a “b*****d” and criticised his performance during a clash between Brentford and Shrewsbury Town at Griffin Park.
In addition to the £24,000 fine, Bellingham, who is also an animal rights campaigner, has been handed a formal warning and warned about her future conduct. The fine and warning is in addition to the £12,000 she was fined for breaching FA rules for putting season tickets for Brentford supporters up for sale online in 2014.
Speaking to the Guardian, Bellingham said the money would be put towards her proposed veterinary college.
“This has been handled very well by the FA,” she said. “I am immensely grateful for that. It is too early to talk about any future changes to my life. I am now looking after myself and my animals.
“The decision to make the fine public was theirs, and they were sensible in allowing me to keep it private. It is not a financial problem. It was always intended to be anonymous and off social media.”
The disciplinary hearing included the 47-year-old referee on Thursday, with Zwayer acknowledging that the post had been inappropriate.
“It was a stupid thing to do and should not have happened,” he said. “I can’t remember any other occasion that I have dealt with since I have been refereeing where people have posted anything in relation to me.”
He added: “I am pleased that the FA panel has stated that there was no sense that it had taken the post by Bellingham seriously.”