I was abused when I was 14, says Rita Ora: X Factor judge reveals she was groomed by 26-year-old man… but insists she is not a victim of child abuse
Factor judge : Rita Ora has revealed she was groomed by a 26-year-old man when she was 14, but claimed it was a boost to her confidence, it has been reported.
The X Factor judge said the sexual abuse took place when she was a drama student at London’s Sylvia Young Theatre School.
But, astonishingly, the singer has insisted that she was not a victim of child sex abuse.
Talking for the first time about what happened, the 24-year-old said: ‘I was 14 when I had my first relationship with a guy. I would say he was about 26.
‘It is child abuse really, isn’t it?’
Last night, children’s charities warned that celebrities such as Miss Ora – who is seen as a role model by millions of girls – should ‘think about the effect of their words’.
Talking about the relationship, Miss Ora said: ‘I don’t want to say I suffered, because I wanted it.
‘I don’t want people to think I was abused but I was definitely more mature than I should have been at 14.’ However, she also admits to being very naive, adding: ‘You have to remember I hadn’t had a relationship before then.
‘I was very new to the world of a man and a female.’
She said the worrying tryst helped her self-esteem and that: ‘I was almost obsessed with having a man feel like he wanted me. I can’t begin to tell you how confident I felt when a man was interested in me.
‘I felt like I had a form of respect, I felt like he listened to me. Now I know he listened to me because he obviously wanted to have sex.’
The pop singer’s confession appears in a new biography, Hot Right Now, which is released on Thursday.
Miss Ora, known for her risque outfits, said she was so enthralled by the unnamed man that she changed her appearance to please him, wearing red lipstick and lightening her hair. Her parents, who moved to Britain with her after fleeing Kosovo in 1991, were oblivious to the reasons for the change in their daughter.
She said: ‘My mum would just say, “What are you doing?” I think that’s what got me dressing in crazy clothes. My mum always let me express myself. But she didn’t know that I was expressing myself because I was seeing men.’
An NSPCC spokesman said: ‘Those in the public eye should think about the effect their words can have on those who look up to them.
‘We know from calls to ChildLine that abuse can be life shattering.
‘It is essential that people are given the confidence to get help to overcome the often devastating impact of abuse.’
Despite her teenage relationship with the older man, Miss Ora also had feelings for boys her own age and said: ‘I was really in love with this boy in high school, Jamie.’
Her revelations were made in Ora’s new biography Hot Right Now, extracts from which have been published by The Sun of Sunday yesterday.
The four-time chart topper told how she was 14 when she first met the man and was ‘very new’ to the world of relationships.
But she apparently claimed that the attention made her feel as though she could ‘take over the world’.
Ora’s controversial comments were originally made to Lifetime TV in an interview on women’s issues which was filmed in 2013.
They have now been dug up by authors Douglas Wight and Jenn Wiley, who wrote the biography.
It comes after singer Chrissie Hynde sparked outrage by saying she took full responsibility for a sexual assault that occurred when she was 21.
The X Factor judge has previously been accused of betraying victims of domestic violence by teaming up with convicted abuser Chris Brown for her single Body On Me.
She dismissed anger over his crime as ‘discrimination’, insisting: ‘Chris Brown is strong, powerful and someone that is important to me personally and professionally.’
The new book Hot Right Now, which is named after her first hit single, reveals the singer’s rise to fame from being a Kosovan refugee to a world-renowned pop sensation.
While trying to break into the music scene, she landed a music production deal with KT Tunstall’s producer Martin Terefe before going on to work with singer Craig David.
Having broken both the UK and the US, she recently scored one of the top roles on TV, as an X Factor judge, after having a stint on BBC’s rival show The Voice.
Ora – who has had a string of famous boyfriends over the past few years, including Calvin Harris and Rob Kardashian – has previously revealed how her former flames have felt ‘intimidated’ by her, thanks to her confidence.
‘People tend to feel intimidated by a woman who’s comfortable in her own skin. Some of my relationships have ended because they’ve been intimidated by me,’ she told Hunger TV.
Ora’s one-year-old relationship with Calvin Harris came to an end in June 2014. The pair had collaborated on her number one hit and catchy song of summer 2014 I Will Never Let You Down.
But due to the acrimonious end of their relationship, the Scottish DJ banned her from using that record and any of the other tracks they had worked on together, meaning she had to go back to the drawing board and delay her sophomore album’s release.
She also dated the brother of Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian Rob in 2012, but it fell apart spectacularly when the reality TV star went on a Twitter tirade and claimed she had cheated on him.
But, sticking to her guns, she said a year later that she didn’t even identify what they had as a relationship.
‘I never thought it was actually a relationship, in all honesty,’ she revealed in an interview with an Australian publication.
She also dated Ricky Hil, son of American fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger.
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