Joy Lane, the ex-girlfriend of so-called “Facebook killer” Steve W. Stephens, has become the target of abuse over social media since Stephens forced his victim to say Lane’s name before murdering him on Easter Sunday and then sharing the clip to Facebook under the hashtag #JoyLaneMassacre.
Within hours of Stephens’ reported suicide on Tuesday after a long police chase, camera crews were crowding Lane’s front door questioning what she would have to say to her “two very young girls.” In the video’s comments section, YouTube users offered a snapshot into the abuse that Lane said she’s endured since the killing.
“Moral: don’t date Joy Lane,” wrote one viewer.
“He killed people because of a fat b***h,” another chimed in.
A few hours before cameras began crowding Lane’s doorstep, she appeared on camera voluntarily in a park where she met, and embraced, two daughters of her ex-boyfriend’s alleged victim, Robert Godwin Sr.
“I don’t know if I know how to be Joy Lane anymore,” she told Cleveland station WJW. “The hashtags: #JoyLane, #JoyLaneMassacre. I’ve been called every cuss word in the book. I’ve been told I’m the one who should have died.”
While some media outlets, such as Ebony, have defended Lane, others have been more than willing to share personal information about Lane to a public suddenly eager for information. Rolling Out made Lane’s workplace public knowledge after combing through Lane’s deleted LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, while outlets such as Heavy released information about her through articles such as “Steve Stephen’s Girlfriend: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know.”
Sitting on a park bench with Godwin Sr.’s daughters on Tuesday morning, Lane apologized for what had happened to their father.
“We are sorry, too,” one of the daughters told her. “But it’s not your fault.”
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