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This week, we’re revisiting the Can I Tell You a Secret? series. This episode first aired on September 23, 2022.

In this seven-episode podcast, the Guardian journalist Sirin Kale investigates the story of Matthew Hardy, a cyberstalker who terrified people in his hometown and beyond for over a decade.

His harassment often started the same way, with a fake profile posing as a young woman asking a simple question: “Hey hun, can I tell you a secret?”. This series tries to unravel his web of deception to find out how and why he wreaked havoc on so many people’s lives.

Episode two takes us into the world of the Instagram influencer, a time when glamorous young women can become brands online. Building a brand means sharing information about yourself, and that information is used and weaponized by Hardy, who has gone from targeting people in his hometown to hunting down victims across the country.

We meet Abby Furness and Lia Hambly, two young women who have been relentlessly targeted by Hardy. The women do not feel that the police take their reports seriously. But things change when a cop, PC Kevin Anderson, gets involved – and he’s determined to have Hardy arrested.

  • If you need help with stalking and harassment you can contact the Suzy Lamplugh Trust or call the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300.

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Photography: Design/The Guardian

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Can I tell you a secret? Episode Two: The Widening Circle | News

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