X Factor star Rebecca Ferguson reveals she was abused as a child

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Marie Claire Future Shapers Awards - London


Singer Rebecca Ferguson struggled to hold back tears as she revealed she was abused in a children's home at the age of eight.

The former X Factor contestant shared her story on ITV's Loose Women as the panel discussed former Apprentice contestant Saira Khan's recent revelation that she had been molested as a teenager.

Rebecca said she had not previously spoken about the abuse.

The 30-year-old said: "It's something that I've been through myself as a child, I was abused when I was in a children's home.

"I've never said this. I can relate to that."

Rebecca Ferguson (Yui Mok/PA)
Rebecca Ferguson (Yui Mok/PA)

The singer, who has started a women's website called #Superwoman, said: "I've never spoke about it. I've told one friend.

"Today, when it was a subject, because I'm here talking about the website, I thought, it's the perfect time to speak about it.

"Because that's what I'm trying to do, I'm trying to make a safe place where women can speak about their problems."

Asked how old she was when she was abused, Rebecca replied: "Eight."

She said being molested had affected her as she had grown older.

She said: "I think it affects a woman's esteem, I think how you go on to be treated by men ... I think on how you carry yourself and what you expect to be treated like.

"I think if someone has took advantage of you from a young age ... it's very hard to have strong self-esteem I would say."

The star said it had taken her years to build up her self-esteem.

Rebecca spoke up about the abuse just weeks after Saira said she was inappropriately touched by a family member when she was 13.

Saira Khan
Saira Khan (ITV/screengrab)

Saira suggested that Rebecca accompany her to counselling.

"I'd love you to come with me. It helps me and I think we could do it together," she said.

Rebecca later posted a message on Twitter thanking the show for allowing her to tell her story.

Loose Women tweeted in response: "You're welcome. You are an incredible women. Thanks for talking so openly. Lots of love xx."