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NewsMusic NewsSophie Ellis-Bextor discusses being raped when she was 17 in new memoir

Singer said she was left confused following the incident

By Damian Jones

Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Sophie Ellis-Bextor Credit: Brandon/Redferns

Sophie Ellis-Bextor has said she was once raped by an older musician when she was 17.

Writing in her new memoir Spinning Plates, the singer said she lost her virginity in the incident at the apartment of a guitarist, who was 29 at the time.

“I heard myself saying ‘No’ and ‘I don’t want to,’” she wrote in the book which is being serialised in the Mail On Sunday, “but it didn’t make any difference”.

“He had sex with me and I felt so ashamed. It was how I lost my virginity and I felt stupid.”

She continued: “I felt grubby, but also unsure about my own feelings as I had no other experience to compare it with.”

Ellis-Bextor, who is now 42, claims she met the musician – who she calls Jim – at a gig while she was studying for her A-Levels.

She said he invited her back to his flat to see his history books “and before I knew it we were on his bed and he took off my knickers”.

Ellis-Bextor said she was left confused following the incident as the public perception of rape in the 1990s “was to 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 said, 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.”

Ellis-Bextor said she had decided to share her own experience to help people understand “where the line between right and wrong lies”.

“My experience was not violent,” she wrote. “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.”

She added: “The older I’ve become, the more stark that 29-year-old man ignoring 17-year-old me has seemed.”

For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.

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