Sophie Ellis-Bextor Reveals Sexual Assault As Teen By Older Musician
Sophie Ellis-Bextor has spoken out about being raped by an older musician in her new memoir.
The English singer-songwriter and model was 17 years old at the time of the sexual assault, detailing her account in her upcoming memoir Spinning Plates.
The assault took place in the apartment of a 29-year-old guitarist and Ellis-Bextor revealed that it was the first time she had ever had sex.
In an excerpt of Spinning Plates, featured in the Daily Mail, Ellis-Bextor admits that she ‘wasn’t sure whether’ she would mention her sexual assault. However, she viewed the memoir as her ‘platform to write about whatever’ she wanted and ‘the things that have shaped’ her.
Ellis-Bextor said how she hasn’t told many people about the incident, but feels that she ‘owe[s]’ it to herself to speak out about it.
The rape occurred in the years where she was trying to get her music career going. She described going to a local indie club and meeting people who encouraged her to ‘shake off [her] Enid Blyton persona’. ‘They didn’t see me as a prude, but they did see me as a bit of a project’, she said.
Ellis-Bextor went on to say how the idea of a one-night stand seemed ‘so grown-up’ to her.
It was at an after-show party where Ellis-Bextor found herself talking to an older man – a guitarist, whose attention towards her made her feel ‘flattered’.
I mentioned I was doing A-level history and he said: ‘I did history. Would you like to come back to my flat and see my history books?’ Probably the lamest chat-up line in the world, but I went in a taxi with him back to his flat.
In the memoir, Ellis-Bextor decided to call the man ‘Jim’ and shared how she went back to his flat.
She commented how the man ‘actually did’ show her his books, one of which she took home and kept a while after. However, she recalled how looking at it ‘always made [her] feel sad and used’.
Ellis-Bextor detailed how she and ‘Jim’ began to kiss and that they then ended up on his bed. ‘He took off my knickers. I heard myself saying ‘No’ and ‘I don’t want to’, but it didn’t make any difference,’ she said.
‘He didn’t listen to me and he had sex with me and I felt so ashamed. It was how I lost my virginity and I felt stupid,’ Ellis-Bextor recalled.
She went on to detail how after the assault was over, she was left lying on the bed ‘feeling odd, trying to process what had just happened’.
The singer described how she couldn’t leave as she didn’t know how to get home in the middle of the night, so instead she just slept. However, in the morning, after seeing she was still there, Jim made her feel ‘stupid’ by being surprised by her presence.
The extract concludes by Ellis-Bextor recalling how she ‘felt grubby’ when on the tube home.
‘At the time, the way rape was talked about wasn’t to do with consent – it was something you associated with aggression. But no one had pinned me down or shouted at me to make me comply, so why should I feel so violated?’, she said.
The star said how the ‘culture that surrounded’ her at the time had made her ‘believe [she] didn’t have a case’, explaining that she didn’t consider the incident violent, but ‘all that happened was I wasn’t listened to’.
She noted how since becoming older, she has realised how ‘stark’ the incident was. While the man is now ‘happily going about his business’, she wanted to use the memoir to open up about the attack to ‘encourage anyone to realise where the line between right and wrong lies’.
Ellis-Bextor is now the mother of five boys and stressed the desire she had to ‘introduce the concept of consent early’.
While Ellis-Bextor did not feel heard back when the assault happened, she said she thinks she will be heard now.
Spinning Plates is set to be released on October 7.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas
Male Survivors Partnership is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. You can contact the organisation on their website or on their free helpline 0808 800 5005, open 9am–5pm Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 8am–8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10am–2pm Saturdays
Most Read StoriesMost Read
CreditsThe Independent and 1 other
'I heard myself saying ‘No’ and ‘I don’t want to,’ but it didn’t make any difference': SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR reveals the one story she was determined to share in her new book - to give a voice to her 17-year-old self