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Singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor Reveals She Was Sexually Assaulted by an Older Musician When She Was Just 17

Singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor Reveals She Was Sexually Assaulted by an Older Musician When She Was Just 17

The singer didn't know what she was assaulted at the time, given how the public perception of rape in the 90s "was not to do with consent" but rather "something you associated with aggression".

Trigger Warning: This story contains details of sexual assault that may be disturbing to readers. 

British musician Sophie Ellis-Bextor recently opened up about being sexually assaulted by an older musician when she was just 17 years old, reports PEOPLE

She shared details of the harrowing experience that took place at the apartment of a guitarist, in her new memoir, Spinning Plates. He was 29 years old at the time, per BBC. "I heard myself saying 'No' and 'I don't want to,' but it didn't make any difference," the Not Giving Up on Love singer revealed.

"He had sex with me, and I felt so ashamed," Sophie, now 42, said about the "dark and murky events." 



 

"It was how I lost my virginity and I felt stupid," she continues. "I felt grubby, but also unsure about my own feelings as I had no other experience to compare it with." The day the incident occurred, was supposed to be a fun day for Ellis-Bextor. 

Ellis-Bextor explains how she—who was a student at the time— went to a gig, and later, she found herself chatting with a 29-year-old musician, whom she refers to as Jim. Once the show ended, Jim invited her home, telling her she could have a look at some of his history books, but things soon took a turn for the worse. "Before I knew it, we were on his bed and he took off my knickers," writes Sophie.

The singer, who is now 42, and a mother to five children, says even though the incident was terrifying to her at the time, it left her confused, given how the public perception of rape in the 1990s "was not to do with consent" but rather "something you associated with aggression". 



 

 

"But no one had pinned me down or shouted at me to make me comply," she says, adding that "the things I saw and read and the way sex was discussed [at the time] made me believe I didn't have a case." 

"My experience was not violent," she adds. "All that happened was I wasn't listened to. Of the two people there, one said 'yes', the other said 'no', and the 'yes' person did it anyway."

Since she felt she had no valid proof against her attacker, she didn't pursue a legal case against him but banned him from seeing her again. Now, she hopes her memoir will help other people understand just "where the line between right and wrong lies."



 

"I have thought so much about why I wanted to write about this," writes Ellis-Bextor in her memoir. "My life is happy now and I would not say that I felt overly traumatized at the time, and yet I feel as if the culture that surrounded me—- the things I saw and read and the way sex was discussed — made me believe I didn't have a case."

She also wrote that she is just not interested in revealing the name of the person who assaulted her, but she's made sure to teach the importance of consent to her five kids from a very young age. "I want to raise considerate, kind people who can take other people's feelings into account," writes the singer. "I want them to actively want the other person to be happy, too, rather than just stopping because they have to."

She adds, "The older I've become, the more stark that 29-year-old man ignoring 17-year-old me has seemed."
 
References:

https://people.com/music/sophie-ellis-bextor-reveals-rape-age-17-so-ashamed/

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-58705186

Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Stuart C. Wilson

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