New Zealand's Next Top Model winner Danielle Hayes has become embroiled in a nasty Twitter spat with a 12-year-old cancer battler, referring to the girl as a "brat".
Kawerau's Hayes and Ohope girl Molly-Mae Cossey started firing shots at each other on Wednesday night after Hayes joined criticism of Jaime Ridge's boxing match in the final of TV3 reality show The Ridges.
Molly-Mae, whom Ridge has visited in hospital, jumped to her friend's defence, and the tweets flew.
Though Molly-Mae said she regretted tweeting back, she was shocked at the personal nature of Hayes' tweets.
In one, Hayes said: "How about stop being a little fame whore to the celebrities of New Zealand and live your life."
In another, she said: "Be someone, do something - you're only 12 years old and by the sounds of it a brat. Get off cyber space and let others decide for themselves."
Molly-Mae bit back: "Then goodbye, I hope you have found joy from arguing with a 12yr old. Get a life. I would never buy a photo with you as the model."
Molly-Mae said the conversation was not pleasant. "I was a bit shocked, I didn't think she would say things like that about me.
"Some of the things felt like she was bullying me."
The past year has been a whirlwind of cancer treatments for Molly-Mae with numerous scans and medical procedures, 14 chemotherapy treatments and six weeks of radiation. Molly-Mae now has 900 colourful "beads of courage" which represent the many challenges she has overcome along the treatment process.
Molly-Mae struck up a friendship with Ridge after the pair started tweeting when Molly-Mae was in hospital.
Jaime visited Molly-Mae at Starship and they still catch up when Molly-Mae is in Auckland.
Molly-Mae's mother, Michelle Cossey, said the friendship had been positive for her daughter and that Jaime and her mother Sally Ridge had offered huge support.
On May 17 the family were told that Molly-Mae was in remission.
One of Hayes' tweets refers to Molly-Mae as "the 12 year old cancer girl", which angered Michelle.
"The whole thing has really upset me because Danielle has won this show and she should be a role model to young girls, she shouldn't be saying things like this. To refer to Molly as "a cancer girl" is untrue, she is in remission and we have to keep positive about that."
Molly-Mae said she would now be more careful about what she commented on.
Danielle Hayes and the Ridges did not return calls from the Herald on Sunday.By Kirsty Wynn Email Kirsty