For years the decision to leave their three-year-old daughter Madeleine alone on the night that she vanished had been picked apart by media around the world. Much of it was speculative, lurid and unfair.
As the initial frenzy over Madeleine's disappearance abated, criticism of Kate and Gerry McCann was left to the dark corners of the internet, with most people sympathising with their plight.
But the ugly attacks have returned with a vengeance - and receiving public applause.
In the UK, celebrity model Katie Price claimed on daytime TV that the McCanns were wrong to leave their daughter alone.
Speaking on ITV's Loose Women, the mother-of-five was applauded by the audience for saying: "It doesn't matter who you are, you don't leave your children."
Her comments came after former X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne was criticised for suggesting the McCanns were "insane" to leave their children unattended while they had dinner at a holiday resort in Portugal in 2007.
Price said: "I'm on Sharon's side. If you are on holiday, your kids sleep in buggies, why in your right mind would you leave your kids in a room? I don't care if it is a safe place or if you can see them or not."
She said parents like the McCanns "shouldn't have gone on holiday if they wanted to leave them in a room."
Price, 38, has five children - Harvey, 14, Junior, 11, Princess, nine, Jett, two, and Bunny, 18 months.
Many viewers praised her remarks on the lunchtime show's Facebook and Twitter pages.
Becca Rees wrote: "Well said Katie Price! Totally agree. You are saying what everyone else won't say, well done" with clapping hands emojis.
Sam Noble Tweeted "well said @MissKatiePrice" and Hazel Coats wrote: "Well done @kisskatieprice couldn't have said it better myself."
Viewers like Darrell Shilds and Susan Edwards said Sharon and Katie were right because the McCanns "should not have left their kids."
Others like "insideoutlastyle" agreed but expressed more sympathy for the parents of the missing little girl.
They wrote: "Absolutely. As much as I feel their pain they were very wrong to leave them."
However, others said Katie was wrong, with Babs Daniels referring to her alter ego when she Tweeted: "Will never watch again after Jordan's comments on McCanns, she hasn't a grain of intelligence."
Others said the presenter shouldn't have been so judgmental, especially as her own parenting has been criticised in the past.
Kim Griffiths Tweeted: "A shame to hear @missKatiePrice speaking about the McCanns in that way, particularly after the way people judge her childcare."
Madeleine vanished on May 3, 2007, from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz. Her twin brother and sister Sean and Amelie, then two, were also in the room at the time.
Despite police investigations and an ongoing appeal by the McCanns, the little girl has not been seen since. She would now be 13.
Sharon Osbourne revealed her point of view on her US chat show The Talk while discussing a thread on Mumsnet, which asked whether it was ever okay to leave a 10-month-old baby home alone.
In reference to Kate and Gerry McCann, Osbourne criticised parents who even considered doing this. She said: "I will tell you a very quick story. There was a husband and wife on holiday in Portugal.
"They left their baby in the room sleeping, sleeping while they went to dinner in the restaurant.
"While they were in the resort their baby was taken. And it is like, 'Oh but we can see everything that is going on' and it is, like, insane."
A friend of the McCann family spoke to The Mirror after the show was broadcast and claimed Osbourne's remarks were"'ignorant" and "ill-informed".
The friend added that she should have considered the effect on Madeleine's brother and sister and kept her opinion to herself.
Madeleine was taken a few days before her fourth birthday and has never been found.
She disappeared from her bed in a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, a resort in the Algarve region of Portugal, on the evening of May 3, 2007.
Her parents were eating dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant. The couples had been taking it in turns to go back to the apartment and check on the children.
The friend told the paper that Kate and Gerry, of Rothley, Leicester, have never forgiven themselves after their daughter was snatched that night.
Adding that the remarks should not have been aired in the random way that they were.
Speaking on the show, Sharon claimed that 50 per cent of mothers who responded to the post agreed that they would never leave their 10-month-old unattended at home.
She said: "This is insane. It is like so many things happen in just a second. If you leave a candle on and the curtain blows on it and it caught on fire.
"And I think of all these scenarios in my head and there is no way in a million years that you would ever do that."