Life

How businesswoman Gina Miller continues to draw strength from the death threats that followed her Brexit intervention

Businesswoman, Gina Miller  
CHRIS J RATCLIFFE | AFP | Getty Images
Businesswoman, Gina Miller  

Having successfully fought a legal battle to make sure the British parliament was included in the process of triggering Brexit's Article 50, businesswoman Gina Miller is seen as a divisive figure.

Yet for the transparency campaigner and a founder of wealth management firm SCM Direct, Miller continues to fight for what she believes in — even when malicious messages and death threats are thrown her way.

Speaking at the AllBright's FoundHER Festival in London this month, Miller talked about the threats she's received following her involvement in the Brexit process and why it's important to speak out about what you believe in.

During the onstage conversation, Miller said that the negative online content she has received didn't have nearly as much of an emotional impact as the offline content did.

"(For) somebody to send a letter with a first-class stamp and write pages and pages of the most disgusting text, to draw me being killed," she said.

Lead claimant Gina Miller speaks outside the Supreme Court in Parliament Square following a majority ruling against the government, on January 24, 2017 in London, England.
Kate Green | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Lead claimant Gina Miller speaks outside the Supreme Court in Parliament Square following a majority ruling against the government, on January 24, 2017 in London, England.

"To send me things in the post that's so vile — that's more worrying, that's what gets me, the offline stuff, because I know that they have to take time and contemplation to go and do that."

Miller, who has said in the past that it was "absolutely not" her intention to overturn the 2016 referendum result to leave the European Union, told attendees at a session titled "Real-Talk Resilience: In Conversation With Gina Miller" that as she received more and more criticism, "something changed" in her.

"The day they sent me the letter which said that my children would be killed in front of me, they would slit their throats and I would watch and then they'd burn me – something changed in me. And I thought, 'That's why I'm here. I'm exactly where I should be,'" she said.

"I was meant to be here. I was meant to fight and speak up and carry on fighting, because those voices are never going to trump mine. Those people are never going to become mainstream — not while I'm here and not while I'm fighting."

In 2016, it was reported by Reuters that Miller had spent £60,000 ($78,705) on security and for her own protection, following incidents including attacks on her company's website.

In 2017, a British aristocrat was sent to prison for 12 weeks, for racially aggravated threats towards the businesswoman.

Rhodri Philipps took to Facebook to offer £5,000 to anybody who'd "accidentally" run over Miller, a person he labeled as a "bloody troublesome first generation immigrant," according to Reuters.

"I was meant to fight and speak up and carry on fighting" -Gina Miller, Transparency campaigner and SCM Direct founder

Reflecting upon such events, Miller — who was born in British Guiana, now Guyana, and moved to the U.K. before she was a teenager — said that she didn't know people could think in such negative, adverse ways.

However, it was this type of behavior that reinforced her self-belief.

"So, the more they sent the negative and all that stuff towards me, I just redirect it. I take it all in and I redirect it. And they don't realize that they are fueling me. They are helping me to keep going, because this is not happening on my watch."

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