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Saturday 20th April 2019

I'm A Celebrity's Shappi Khorsandi reveals she was groomed as a child

She describes the "lasting effect" it's had on her

I'm A Celebrity star Shappi Khorsandi has revealed she was groomed as a young girl.

Speaking about her ordeal for the first time, the writer and comedienne has described how the horror of it has had a "lasting effect" on her and drove her to self harm.

Shappi took part in I'm A Celebrity in 2017 (Credit: ITV)

Read more: I'm A Celebrity's Shappi makes some startling revelations in her first exit interview

Shappi, 45, felt compelled to talk about her own experiences in reaction to Adam Johnson sympathisers, who have expressed relief at the footballer's light sentence.

Ex-Sunderland footballer Adam was released last week after serving half of his six-year sentence for grooming a teenager.

In a brutally honest column in The Independent, mum-of-two Shappi wrote how she knows "firsthand that grooming is among the coldest, most deliberate and most damaging things that you can do to a vulnerable adolescent".

Shappi during her exit interview from the jungle (Credit: ITV)

I went through so much of my life not understanding the impact it had on me.

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She said: "I was groomed by an adult man when I was 15. I cannot overstate the lasting effect that it has: how badly it distorts your view of yourself and how it can wreck your self-worth to the point where you can resort to all kinds of self harm.

"I went through so much of my life not understanding the impact it had on me."

Shappi went on to say that it was only last week that she called a helpline for victims of abuse - 30 years after the fact.

She added: "I found myself unable to read about Johnson without my own past wailing in my ear. [...]

"I’m concerned about the sympathy that’s being offered from some quarters."

In her column, Shappi goes on to slam "banter" about Adam Johnson's abuse of an underage girl and the accusations that the victim somehow "asked for it".

She also revealed that the man who groomed her wasn't famous, but a popular and charismatic man in his 20s. 

While Shappi hopes we now live in different times to when those around her were oblivious to her own abuse, she now hopes the high-profile case of Adam Johnson will give some victims the strength to speak out.

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