Chicago Bishop Larry Trotter has been under fire recently for a photo posted on his Instagram account that shows himself in the bathtub with his four-year-old granddaughter, both smiling and appearing to be shirtless.
The young girl’s mother, Javon Trotter, in response to the public’s critical outpour, spoke to theGrio in an exclusive phone interview and says she is supporting her father through this difficult time.
“I’m upset, I’m hurt I can’t believe that people would re-post the picture of my innocent baby and say bad things about my father who loves my baby and all kids,” she says. “He would never do anything to harm them. It’s hurtful for my whole family.”
The picture, which has since been removed, went viral a few days ago, causing an uproar in the social media community. From calling Trotter a “pervert” and to deeming the photo as “plain inappropriate,” social media users took to Twitter expressing their opinions about the post.
Ms. Trotter wanted to clarify that her father was bathing in their large whirlpool Jacuzzi in their bathroom when the granddaughter walked in and asked her mother if she could go into the tub with him. After the girl asked to join her grandfather, both Trotter and his granddaughter put on swim trunks before getting into the water. Javon also adds that her daughter was only in the water for about three to five minutes, and she was present during the entire situation.
She says that she simply does not understand why people misinterpreted the image.
“I don’t understand — it doesn’t look bad. I would never thought he would do anything [inappropriate],” she contends. “I don’t know why people would think this way. I know my father and he would never do anything to his kids.”
Although the photo was only on the account for about ten minutes before it was taken down, the daughter of the bishop says that it was only supposed to be shared among family members and is horrified that it was posted online. The photo was inadvertently sent by a family member to a person who manages his social media accounts, according to Trotter.
“I would have not posted the photo online…We never wanted anyone else to see it,” she says. “[My father] is hurt as well, we’re his family. He doesn’t want people to be posting his picture all over the world.”
Sweet Holy Spirit church spokesperson Sean Howard tells theGrio that the church stands “110 percent” in support for Bishop Trotter and that other prominent members of the Chicago community have also come forward to show their support.