In excerpts from a new biography, Rita Ora tells the painful story of how she, as a teenager attending theater school, was sexually abused by a 26-year-old man.
"I don't want to say that I suffered it, because I wanted it," she said in a 2013 interview with Amanda de Cadenet that was published in the Sun on Sunday (opens in new tab). "I don't want to say that I was forced to do it."
Audibly choking up, the X Factor judge recalled how being with the unnamed man made her feel like "[she] could take over the world."
"I felt like I was sexy, I felt like I had a form of respect, I felt like he listened to me," she said after agreeing with de Cadenet that the relationship did qualify as child abuse. "Now I know he listened to me because he obviously wanted to have sex with me. I felt good that men fancied me."
Heartbreaking, but so important that women everywhere, including celebrities like Ora, are speaking out. Like Lady Gaga said about her video on campus sexual assault (opens in new tab), "Perhaps you will find some peace in knowing you are not alone."
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Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at MarieClaire.com. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.
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