Suzan Mutesi puts on a brave face amid ‘sham socialite’ claims

‘Sham socialite’ Suzan Mutesi puts on a brave face as she steps out to attend a Charlotte Tilbury event in Sydney after being accused of buying Instagram followers

The Challenge star Suzan Mutesi has been spotted for the first time after she was accused of being a ‘sham socialite’.

The 36-year-old, who boasts a whopping 1.2million followers on Instagram, put on a brave face at a Charlotte Tilbury event in Sydney on Tuesday night.

Suzan ensured all eyes were on her in a crushed velvet crop top and gold sequin skirt that featured a thigh-high split. 

The Challenge star Suzan Mutesi has been spotted for the first time after she was accused of being a 'sham socialite'

The Challenge star Suzan Mutesi has been spotted for the first time after she was accused of being a ‘sham socialite’

She accessorised her look with diamanté pumps and a soft pink handbag. 

The actress and influencer, who has been a fixture of Sydney‘s social scene for the last three years, locked down her social media pages after she was accused of being a ‘sham socialite’ last week. 

Jamie Azzopardi, a prominent Sydney stylist, accused the self-described ‘award-winning author’ of inflating her popularity with ‘fake’ Instagram followers to gain access to red carpet events, sponsorships and media gigs.  

Suzan ensured all eyes were on her in a crushed velvet crop top and gold sequin skirt that featured a thigh-high split

Suzan ensured all eyes were on her in a crushed velvet crop top and gold sequin skirt that featured a thigh-high split 

She accessorised her look with diamanté pumps and a soft pink handbag

She accessorised her look with diamanté pumps and a soft pink handbag 

The actress and influencer, who has been a fixture of Sydney 's social scene for the last three years, locked down her social media pages after she was accused of being a 'sham socialite' last week

The actress and influencer, who has been a fixture of Sydney 's social scene for the last three years, locked down her social media pages after she was accused of being a 'sham socialite' last week

The actress and influencer, who has been a fixture of Sydney ‘s social scene for the last three years, locked down her social media pages after she was accused of being a ‘sham socialite’ last week

After months of whispers about her credibility, Azzopardi, who has known Mutesi for years, opened the floodgates by giving a tell-all interview about her to the So Dramatic podcast.

‘It fascinates me how she went from 200,000 followers pre-lockdown to 1.2 million and is on a reality TV show where she is representative of influencers,’ he said.

According to Azzopardi, publicly available statistics on Social Blade, a website that tracks analytical information for social media platforms, prove she ‘bought 75,000 followers’ before Sydney Fashion Week – and ‘challenged’ Mutesi to prove him wrong.

Jamie Azzopardi, a prominent Sydney stylist, accused the self-described 'award-winning author' of inflating her popularity with 'fake' Instagram followers to gain access to red carpet events, sponsorships and media gigs

Jamie Azzopardi, a prominent Sydney stylist, accused the self-described ‘award-winning author’ of inflating her popularity with ‘fake’ Instagram followers to gain access to red carpet events, sponsorships and media gigs 

He also claimed Mutesi purchased automated comments, views and likes in an attempt to have her Instagram engagement match her inflated follower count, a claim she denied to Daily Mail Australia.

‘Just release your insights, and I’ll stop talking. I’ll admit I’m wrong, I don’t do it very often, but I will publicly say I was wrong,’ Azzopardi told the podcast. 

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia last week, an emotional Ms Mutesi denied buying followers and said her numbers were so high because she is a ‘go-getter’. 

After months of whispers about her credibility, Azzopardi, who has known Mutesi for years, opened the floodgates by giving a tell-all interview about her to the So Dramatic podcast. Pictured: Jamie Azzopardi

After months of whispers about her credibility, Azzopardi, who has known Mutesi for years, opened the floodgates by giving a tell-all interview about her to the So Dramatic podcast. Pictured: Jamie Azzopardi

However, Social Blade stats show her followers have jumped by several thousand at once without explanation, which is extremely rare and often indicates bot activity.

Her follower count has grown by 531,400 without explanation, which is unusual growth for someone who is relatively unknown.

Accounts of similar size to Mutesi’s have a growth rate of just 12.04 per cent a year. 

'Just release your insights, and I'll stop talking. I'll admit I'm wrong, I don't do it very often, but I will publicly say I was wrong,' Azzopardi told the podcast

‘Just release your insights, and I’ll stop talking. I’ll admit I’m wrong, I don’t do it very often, but I will publicly say I was wrong,’ Azzopardi told the podcast 

Social Blade statistics show Mutesi's followers have jumped by several thousand at once without explanation, which is extremely rare and usually indicates bot activity

Social Blade statistics show Mutesi’s followers have jumped by several thousand at once without explanation, which is extremely rare and usually indicates bot activity 

Most of Mutesi's posts have been flooded with generic and poorly written comments from profiles that appear to be fake. There are also many instances where duplicate comments have been left under the same post, seemingly to increase the post's engagement (as seen here)

Most of Mutesi’s posts have been flooded with generic and poorly written comments from profiles that appear to be fake. There are also many instances where duplicate comments have been left under the same post, seemingly to increase the post’s engagement (as seen here) 

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Mutesi rubbished all of Azzopardi’s claims and denied she was misleading brands with her audience numbers.

The Sydney-based influencer, who describes herself on Instagram as an ‘Actor and Best Award Winning Author’, said she ‘hustles hard’, and that her large following is because she has been around for a long time.

‘I used to work as a fashion designer before I moved to Australia. I’ve travelled around the world. I have articles in Nigeria. I also sing,’ Mutesi explained. 

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Mutesi rubbished all of Azzopardi's claims and denied she was misleading brands with her audience numbers

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Mutesi rubbished all of Azzopardi’s claims and denied she was misleading brands with her audience numbers 

‘I’ve collaborated with international artists internationally, not just Africa,’ she added.

‘It saddens me to hear such words. These ridiculous claims are sad and pathetic and very childish,’ Mutesi said of Azzopardi’s allegations.

Mutesi’s manager at the Sydney PR agency Markson Sparks has also issued a statement denying the ‘fake socialite’ claims. 

 

False profiles often have usernames with strange combinations of numbers and letters. Many of Mutesi's followers have usernames of this kind, and often post duplicate comments

False profiles often have usernames with strange combinations of numbers and letters. Many of Mutesi’s followers have usernames of this kind, and often post duplicate comments 

‘Suzan is starring in a major national reality show The Challenge on Channel 10 and has had a stellar career over the past 12 years,’ they told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Suzan starred alongside Jane Seymour in Ruby’s Choice earlier this year, she is an author with a second book coming out in 2023. She is also a fashion influencer, model and is hugely popular on social media.

‘Suzan has an enormous fan base, and I’m really proud to be her manager. Thanks for your recent enquiry. It’s #fakenews.’

While Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting Mutesi necessarily paid for her followers, a report by HypeAuditor shows that only 45.25 per cent of her followers ‘look authentic’.

While Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting Mutesi (pictured in August) paid for her followers, a report by HypeAuditor shows that only 45.25 per cent of her followers 'look authentic'

While Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting Mutesi (pictured in August) paid for her followers, a report by HypeAuditor shows that only 45.25 per cent of her followers ‘look authentic’ 

False profiles often have usernames with strange combinations of numbers and letters. Many of Mutesi’s followers have usernames of this kind.

Most of Mutesi’s posts have been flooded with generic and poorly written comments from profiles that appear to be fake.

There are also many instances where duplicate comments have been left under the same post, seemingly to increase the post’s engagement.

Social Blade stats (pictured) show that Suzan has lost over 14,460 followers in the past 30 days, which suggests she was impacted by Instagram cracking down on bot accounts

Social Blade stats (pictured) show that Suzan has lost over 14,460 followers in the past 30 days, which suggests she was impacted by Instagram cracking down on bot accounts

Mutesi moved to Australia for high school before receiving a Bachelor of Design with a major in fashion.

She has worked in fashion alongside her acting career, which has seen her gain minor roles in movies such as 2022’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Back in December, Mutesi denied claims she edits her Instagram photos after watchdog account Celeb Spellcheck highlighted some of her questionable posts.

She has worked in fashion alongside her acting career, which has seen her gain minor roles in movies such as 2022's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

She has worked in fashion alongside her acting career, which has seen her gain minor roles in movies such as 2022’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings 

In the photos, she appeared to have clumsily edited herself into stock images of aircraft.

One image, posted by Mutesi in December 2020, shows her superimposed in front of a seaplane, with her hand barely touching the side of the plane due to the sloppy editing.

But speaking to Daily Mail Australia at the time, Mutesi denied she’d edited her images at all, saying: ‘If it was [Photoshopped], I would have no problem owning it.’ 

Back in December, Mutesi denied claims she edits her Instagram photos after watchdog account Celeb Spellcheck highlighted some of her questionable posts

Back in December, Mutesi denied claims she edits her Instagram photos after watchdog account Celeb Spellcheck highlighted some of her questionable posts 

In the seaplane image, the water was noticeably blurred around Suzan’s legs, which suggests it had been smudged with an editing tool.

Celeb Spellcheck then shared another photo of a different model standing in front of a remarkably similar backdrop, in an effort to prove Suzan’s post was edited.

Fans were quick to comment on the image, with one writing, ‘Honestly impressed with the photoshopping skills,’ while another added: ‘Wow that’s a terrible job.’ 

‘What a fail!’ one wrote, while another said: ‘Check out the hand on the plane.’

One image, posted by Mutesi in December 2020, shows her in front of a seaplane. The water was noticeably blurred around Suzan's legs

One image, posted by Mutesi in December 2020, shows her in front of a seaplane. The water was noticeably blurred around Suzan’s legs

Fans were quick to comment on the image, with one writing, 'Honestly impressed with the photoshopping skills,' while another added: 'Wow that's a terrible job'

Fans were quick to comment on the image, with one writing, ‘Honestly impressed with the photoshopping skills,’ while another added: ‘Wow that’s a terrible job’

‘This [seaplane] post was posted 12 months ago in December 2020. But I took that photo in 2019. There’s nothing wrong with having a dream’ Suzan said. 

‘And that’s what I am doing for myself and my followers,’ she continued. ‘Trying to inspire them to aspire and fulfil their dreams.’

Mutesi shared another suspicious-looking photo of herself in front of a plane in September 2020, which prompted a fan to ask her: ‘What app are you using to do this? Please share I need to edit a photo background hehe.’

Mutesi shared another suspicious-looking photo of herself in front of a plane in September 2020, which prompted a fan to ask her: 'What app are you using to do this? Please share I need to edit a photo background hehe'

Mutesi shared another suspicious-looking photo of herself in front of a plane in September 2020, which prompted a fan to ask her: ‘What app are you using to do this? Please share I need to edit a photo background hehe’

The photo in question showed Suzan in front of the plane next to a travel bag, which cast no shadow and was placed at an odd angle on the ground.

‘It’s an actual location hun! I didn’t have to edit the background! The plants are really we were lucky,’ Mutesi responded.

The commenter replied back: ‘Huh? This photo is edited babe – you can tell haha what plants?’

Mutesi categorically denied she'd edited the photo in a lengthy statement at the time, saying: 'No it's not Photoshopped. If it was I have no problem owning it'

Mutesi categorically denied she’d edited the photo in a lengthy statement at the time, saying: ‘No it’s not Photoshopped. If it was I have no problem owning it’

Mutesi's social media photos appear to be heavily airbrushed

Mutesi’s social media photos appear to be heavily airbrushed 

Mutesi then called the commenter ‘shady’ for asking the question.

The fan asked why it was shady and insisted he was ‘just asking a question’, adding: ‘I wanted to use it but it looks to obvious.’

Not giving anything away, Mutesi replied: ‘I know babe I was teasing! You know that.’

Despite questions from fans, Mutesi has denied Photoshopping her images

Despite questions from fans, Mutesi has denied Photoshopping her images

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