X Factor star Anthony Russell has broken his silence after shocking fans by FaceTiming a notorious prisoner.
The singer, who will face Dalton Harris and Scarlett Lee in this weekend’s live final, sparked controversy when he was caught video chatting with jailed Michael Trevillion, who was using a mobile phone that had been smuggled into prison.
Anthony , 28, was at the ITV studios when he spoke to the man, once described as ‘Merseydie’s most wanted’ on FaceTime.
Michael, seemingly using an account under the name John Smith, posted a screenshot of the call on his Facebook page on October 14, writing: "Just had a belter chat with my mate Anthony Russell an [sic] he’s got the X Factor xxx"
- X Factor finalist Anthony Russell caught FaceTiming notorious jailed criminal
Anthony Russell talking on FaceTime with a convicted criminal in prison
Anthony posted a video with Scarlett
He is serving four years for burglary.
Sources claimed Anthony knew the caged crook from parties, but sources in Anthony’s camp denied he knew the prisoner, insisting he had called the singer on Facebook messenger out of the blue and he answered to see who it was.
They said he had no idea the man was in prison or using an illegal mobile phone.
A Prison Service spokesperson said: "Anyone found behaving this way can expect to spend significantly longer behind bars.
"We have invested £2 million to detect and block mobile phones to prevent them being used in the first place."
Since the story left fans shocked, Anthony has broken his silence on social media.
But he failed to address the story.
The prisoner referred to Anthony as his mate
Anthony ignored the reports
Last night, Anthony posted a video of himself and Scarlett in the X Factor house as they expressed their disbelief – and joy – that they’re in the final.
Anthony also sent out a string of posts on his Instagram Story, but again failed to address the controversial video chat.
He thanked a bakery for putting his face on cupcakes, shared someone else’s post encouraging people to vote for him and reposted a picture from axed contestant Brendan Murray, who said he was on his way back to the London studios.
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He talked about the weekend’s final
And thanked bakers for putting his face on cupcakes
Anthony first signed up to the X Factor last year, turning up for his audition with a black eye, but he withdrew because of a battle with drug addiction.
Former One Direction star Louis Tomlinson reached out to him and offered him help, before later, in a lucky twist of fate, becoming an X Factor judge and Anthony’s mentor.
* The X Factor concludes this weekend on ITV
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