'Coronation Street' star Chris Fountain has been suspended from the ITV soap after it was discovered that he was behind a series of online rap videos in which he bragged of rape and murder as his alter-ego The Phantom.
The 25-year-old actor - who plays mechanic Tommy Duckworth - disguised himself in a Halloween mask, cap and hoodie in the rap videos that were seen by thousands of viewers on YouTube.
He appears as The Phantom in a series of clips filmed by the West Yorkshire Cypher at meetings where rappers can show of their freestyle skills. His raps included rhymes about using a machete, stabbing someone with a diseased needle, bombing a rivals house, taking part in orgies and raping a woman on her birthday.
One of the raps includes the lines: “I’m a nasty ****, I will punch you in the face and you look like you’ve been having some acupuncture ’cos my fist is lethal. I’m a f****** hero, you’ve got f****** zero. I’m a m************ demon, I’ll stab you in the face with a needle.”
The videos have now been removed but the star now faces the axe from 'Corrie' following his suspension 'pending further enquiries'.
In a statement he said: “I would like to sincerely apologise for any offence I have caused. I am deeply ashamed by the lyrics and very much regret my behaviour. The videos were made over a year ago when I was experimenting with music and I’ve not done anything like it since and nor will I.”
Rape and violence campaigners have since hit out at the actor. Fay Maxted, chief exec of The Survivors Trust told The Sun: “This is absolutely shocking.
“He is a high-profile character. It shows a complete lack of any kind of respect for women at all. He is a role model for young people. It almost seems like he’s making a joke of something that really isn’t funny.”
A Corrie spokesman said last night: “ITV find the language used and the views expressed in this video totally unacceptable. Chris Fountain has been suspended pending further inquiries into this matter.”
This is the second scandal to his the ITV soap in as many months. Last month stars including Georgia May-Foote, Catherine Tyldesley and Brooke Vincent were left red-faced after being tricked by an undercover TV show into promoting fake goods on Twitter.
The cast were caught out by by Channel 4's 'Dispatches' as they were given freebies at an event in Manchester without realising they were fake. The show was investigating celebs who bag freebies in exchange for tweets to promote the products, which is a possible breach of Advertising Standards Authority guidelines.