Zara McDermott ‘didn’t see a way out’ as she recalls feeling suicidal after revenge porn hell

Zara McDermott has recalled feeling suicidal after her two revenge porn ordeals in a new interview.

The Love Island star, 24, reflected on going through ‘every single emotion’ when explicit images were leaked by a school bully at the age of 14, before being the victim of the same offence by a former boyfriend and his friends seven years later.

An emotional Zara told Sky News presenter Niall Paterson on Thursday: ‘I went through every single emotion. At 14, there were days I thought I don’t wanna be on this earth anymore and I don’t see any way out.’

'I didn't wanna be on this earth anymore': Zara McDermott recalled feeling suicidal after her revenge porn ordeals during an interview with Sky News presenter Niall Paterson on Thursday

'I didn't wanna be on this earth anymore': Zara McDermott recalled feeling suicidal after her revenge porn ordeals during an interview with Sky News presenter Niall Paterson on Thursday

‘I didn’t wanna be on this earth anymore’: Zara McDermott recalled feeling suicidal after her revenge porn ordeals during an interview with Sky News presenter Niall Paterson on Thursday

The Made In Chelsea star, who recently released her BBC documentary Zara McDermott: Revenge Porn to highlight the issue, admitted she believes the crime wasn’t as ‘recognised’ in the past as it is today. 

On switching between feelings of ’embarrassment’ to ‘anger’ with age, the model added: ‘I felt the shame, so much of a lack of understanding around this topic still. 

‘When I was 21, I moreso felt the feelings of anger – what gives someone else the right over my body?

‘That’s the anger that fuelled me to make that documentary. It’s such a huge issue, the stats are shocking.’

'I felt the shame': Explicit images of the Love Island star, 24, were leaked by a school bully at the age of 14, before being the victim to the same offence seven years later

'I felt the shame': Explicit images of the Love Island star, 24, were leaked by a school bully at the age of 14, before being the victim to the same offence seven years later

‘I felt the shame’: Explicit images of the Love Island star, 24, were leaked by a school bully at the age of 14, before being the victim to the same offence seven years later

'The anger fuelled me to make the project': The Made In Chelsea star recently released her BBC documentary, Zara McDermott: Revenge Porn, to highlight the issue

'The anger fuelled me to make the project': The Made In Chelsea star recently released her BBC documentary, Zara McDermott: Revenge Porn, to highlight the issue

‘The anger fuelled me to make the project’: The Made In Chelsea star recently released her BBC documentary, Zara McDermott: Revenge Porn, to highlight the issue

The media personality was suspended from her secondary school after the photos went ‘viral’ in her community’ – an experience she confessed ‘tainted’ her teenage years. 

The pictures she sent to her ex-boyfriend were also circulated among others, but this time, on a larger scale.

Zara explained: ‘I was in a relationship and we broke up and he forwarded images onto his phone. I think his friends remembered that they had those images of me and circulated them to their friends. They went worldwide.

‘You’re looking at two very different scenarios here – a 14 year old girl, when we are teenagers we don’t really think about consequences of actions.

‘We don’t forward plan, I think a lot of people can say they’ve made decisions with large consequences in their teens. When I was 21, I was a consenting adult in a trusting relationship.

‘There’s people who say you shouldn’t trust the person you’re in a relationship with and I beg to differ. Cases are so prevalent as they do trust their partners, why wouldn’t they?’ 

The influencer also insisted that while cases are more prevalent in women, men’s experience of revenge porn shouldn’t be ‘discredited’. 

The blonde added: ‘I’ve had a fair few men who came forward and told me their stories. I wonder if there’s an imbalance of men who don’t feel comfortable coming forward.’

'It tainted my teenage years': The media personality was suspended from her secondary school after the photos went 'viral' in her community' (pictured in January)

'It tainted my teenage years': The media personality was suspended from her secondary school after the photos went 'viral' in her community' (pictured in January)

‘It tainted my teenage years’: The media personality was suspended from her secondary school after the photos went ‘viral’ in her community’ (pictured in January)

'It went worldwide': The pictures she sent to her ex were also circulated among others, but this time, on a larger scale (pictured on Love Island in 2018)

'It went worldwide': The pictures she sent to her ex were also circulated among others, but this time, on a larger scale (pictured on Love Island in 2018)

‘It went worldwide’: The pictures she sent to her ex were also circulated among others, but this time, on a larger scale (pictured on Love Island in 2018)

On her advice to the younger generation, she concluded: ‘Watch the documentary. It’s a huge education tool… those conversations between children and parents, grandparents and teachers are usually really awkward. 

What is revenge porn?

Revenge Porn – or Image-based sexual abuse – is the sharing of private, sexual materials of another person without their consent 

Sharing with the purpose of causing embarrassment or distress to the individual pictured  

The offence can be both on and offline and applies to electronically shared images or showing someone a physical image

 

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‘It’s hard to open up as it is a sensitive topic and still a taboo. I would say definitely watch it, use it as a talking point and start speaking to your family and friends.

‘Start speaking to your family and friends – the more people that support you, the better you will feel if you’ve been a victim.

‘Unfortunately, we have to look at the consequences of sending these images… as tough as it is. The doc really outlines every eventuality. I think it’s moving and I worked really hard on it.’

It is understood that government ministers broadly support plans to criminalise those who threaten to leak sex tapes or other explicit content of their partners, after a campaign by the domestic abuse charity Refuge, endorsed by a host of celebrities.

The measure would essentially add a ‘threats to’ element to existing revenge porn legislation, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison for those who commit image-based sexual abuse by sharing explicit pictures or video without the subject’s consent, with the intent to cause distress.

Lisa King, Refuge director of communications and external relations, said: ‘Refuge is beyond delighted to hear that the Government has committed, as part of the Domestic Abuse Bill, we hope, to make threats to share intimate images illegal.

‘We have been working around the clock, over many months to bring this to the Government’s attention.

‘The success of The Naked Threat campaign has only been possible thanks to the survivors with whom we work, our dedicated tech abuse team, the many supportive politicians such as Baroness Nicky Morgan, Caroline Nokes, and Lord Ken Macdonald and supporters such as Olivia Colman and Zara McDermott.’

She added: ‘This commitment shows that the Government is willing to listen to their needs and experiences and put them front and centre of their efforts to tackle domestic abuse.’

A survey commissioned by Refuge previously found that one in 14 adults in England and Wales had experienced threats to share intimate images or videos.

The survey suggested that threats to share intimate images are most prevalent among people aged 18-34, with one in seven young women experiencing such threats. New figures also suggest revenge porn has doubled in the last two years.

For help and support or more information, you can call Refuge’s Freephone 24hr National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, or see samaritans.org for details 

Her happy place: The blonde is now in a relationship with Made In Chelsea star Sam Thompson

Her happy place: The blonde is now in a relationship with Made In Chelsea star Sam Thompson

Her happy place: The blonde is now in a relationship with Made In Chelsea star Sam Thompson

Link hienalouca.com

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