Lisa Snowdon says modelling was an ‘escape’ from abusive relationship

Lisa Snowdon has opened up about being in a mentally and physically abusive relationship and how she saw modelling as an ‘escapism’ from her reality.

The model and TV presenter, 49, who also spoke about how high school bullying affected her self-worth, said that photoshoots would help her create another version of herself for the day so she should break away from the abuse.

Lisa discussed being in a ‘bad place’ on the She Loves Herself podcast, as she detailed the relationship that was ‘chipping away’ at her mental health, before eventually begging a mutual friend to help her get out.

Candid: Lisa Snowdon has opened up about being in a mentally and physically abusive relationship and how she saw modelling as an 'escapism' from her reality

Candid: Lisa Snowdon has opened up about being in a mentally and physically abusive relationship and how she saw modelling as an 'escapism' from her reality

Candid: Lisa Snowdon has opened up about being in a mentally and physically abusive relationship and how she saw modelling as an ‘escapism’ from her reality

Detailing a traumatic relationship at the start of her career, Lisa said: ‘I was in a really bad relationship at the time which began with being mentally abusive and then was physically abusive, it was like my escapism when I went into work.

‘I was on these amazing shoots and it was back when they would do really dramatic make up, so I would have my eyebrows drawn on really high, with loads of eyeshadow and the shoots were really creative, so I would go in, almost like an actress and create a different me for the day, and escape that abusive relationship.’

Explaining that the job wasn’t all positive, Lisa said that sometimes not getting a job she wanted would negatively impact her on top of the abusive relationship.

Honest: The model and TV presenter, 49, who also spoke about how high school bullying affected her self-worth, said that photoshoots would help her create another version of herself for the day so she should break away from the abuse

Honest: The model and TV presenter, 49, who also spoke about how high school bullying affected her self-worth, said that photoshoots would help her create another version of herself for the day so she should break away from the abuse

Honest: The model and TV presenter, 49, who also spoke about how high school bullying affected her self-worth, said that photoshoots would help her create another version of herself for the day so she should break away from the abuse

Talking more about the intricacies of the ordeal, Lisa explained that initially she was showered with attention by her partner which soon turned to black eyes and mental abuse. 

She said: ‘Well when we were first together there was lots of attention and the child in you who has craved that love for so long is so happy and it’s just like love me love me love me…

‘But then eventually the attention you are getting from that person turns into a black eye, and somewhere in you, you are so damaged that you believe this is still a sign of affection, this is still attention so you stay there.’

Lisa said she tried to get out of the relationship many times but the boyfriend – who remains unnamed – would find her and physically drag her back.  

Tough times: Lisa discussed being in a 'bad place' on the She Loves Herself podcast, as she detailed the relationship that was 'chipping away' at her mental health

Tough times: Lisa discussed being in a 'bad place' on the She Loves Herself podcast, as she detailed the relationship that was 'chipping away' at her mental health

Tough times: Lisa discussed being in a ‘bad place’ on the She Loves Herself podcast, as she detailed the relationship that was ‘chipping away’ at her mental health

She continued: ‘But then in the end, I went to a mutual friend of ours, and I begged him to help me and at first he was wary because he was friends with both of us.’

‘I said to him I really need your help, I had a broken arm I had a black eye.’ 

‘He [the partner] would find me, whether it be in the middle of the street, wherever, and he would drag me back with him. He wouldn’t care if anybody saw. Then this particular day, I knew he was out and I called that friend and I was like “now!”.

‘So I was stuffing stuff into black bin liners and I probably should’ve left it, but as I had paid for everything, I was like no I want it. But as we were leaving, and walking down the street with the last set of bags…

‘We saw another mutual friend of ours, and he was like ‘what are you doing’ and I just went completely white, and he looked at us, and we just ran. God, it just brings back so many awful memories.’

Explaining why she didn’t tell her family about the abuse she was suffering at the hand of her ex-boyfriend, Lisa said: ‘He actually told me that if I told anyone he would kill them as well…

‘He was very specific about how he would do it and I knew he had the capacity to hurt people, so I was just too terrified to ever tell them.’

During the candid chat, Lisa linked her experience in the relationship to being bullied at school and how that affected her self-worth.

Relationship: Lisa, who is now in a happy relationship with her fiance George Smart (pictured), said it was a big step letting him into her life following her past trauma

Relationship: Lisa, who is now in a happy relationship with her fiance George Smart (pictured), said it was a big step letting him into her life following her past trauma

Relationship: Lisa, who is now in a happy relationship with her fiance George Smart (pictured), said it was a big step letting him into her life following her past trauma

She said: My mum used to literally have to drag me to school because I was so scared of these bullies. 

‘I would beg her everyday to not go in, and of course it massively shapes you as an adult. And it scares me, because I have so many nieces and nephews, I would never want them to experience that.’

‘I am actually still shocked that I was able to just throw myself in at the deep end with modelling as well, because even at secondary school as soon as I started everyone hated me, the older girls would threaten to beat me up everyday after school and then I was being mentally abused at home…

‘So to get to that stage in my modelling career where I was able to do stuff like, get up and go to Japan on my own and go to a shoot and let all these strangers dress me, exhibited such a strange level of resilience that I didn’t know I had.’

Model: Detailing a traumatic relationship at the start of her career, Lisa said: 'I was in a really bad relationship at the time which began with being mentally abusive and then was physically abusive, it was like my escapism when I went into work'

Model: Detailing a traumatic relationship at the start of her career, Lisa said: 'I was in a really bad relationship at the time which began with being mentally abusive and then was physically abusive, it was like my escapism when I went into work'

Model: Detailing a traumatic relationship at the start of her career, Lisa said: ‘I was in a really bad relationship at the time which began with being mentally abusive and then was physically abusive, it was like my escapism when I went into work’

‘But even throughout that I still had my abusive relationship, I had to fully support him, and that really shaped a lot of my future relationships.’

Elsewhere during the interview, Lisa revealed she first got into modelling when she was 15 but it ‘didn’t go very well’, because she felt ‘vulnerable’ being asked to strip naked and lie under a sheet.

Although she insisted there was nothing ‘dodgy or sinister’ she admitted it was enough to put her off until she was scouted again at ’18 or 19′.

Following her past experience, Lisa revealed she contemplated the decision for a while because she ‘wasn’t sure’ if it was the right career path for her.    

Lisa, who is now in a happy relationship with her fiance George Smart, said it was a big step letting him into her life following her past trauma.

She said: ‘For so many years I did keep so guarded, being vulnerable and letting George into my life, was big.’  

She said: ‘Going back, I did actually do therapy and I did cognitive behavioural therapy, and in 2014 I actually ended up on medication, and I found that I never wanted to surrender before and have medication or go and see a therapist.’

‘This might be a really British attitude of pushing things down and there were my Dad’s words in my head saying, “don’t be so ridiculous nobody needs a therapist” so actually taking that step and being vulnerable enough to seek help, was huge for me.

‘From childhood bullying to then valuing myself worth, then allowed me into enter into relationships that were very toxic, and it would force me into situations that were very bad for my health, it was almost self-harm, so when I finally got into therapy and actually asking for help, was a massive moment of vulnerability. ‘ 

You can call the freephone 24-hour ­National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 

Insight: Explaining that the job wasn't all positive, Lisa said that sometimes not getting a job she wanted would negatively impact her on top of the abusive relationship

Insight: Explaining that the job wasn't all positive, Lisa said that sometimes not getting a job she wanted would negatively impact her on top of the abusive relationship

Insight: Explaining that the job wasn’t all positive, Lisa said that sometimes not getting a job she wanted would negatively impact her on top of the abusive relationship

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