Rebekah Vardy has always spoken candidly about the hardships she endured prior to fame.
And in a poignant statement ahead of entering the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! jungle over the weekend, the mother-of-four revealed how sexual abuse in her teens led to a suicide attempt.
Rebekah, who is married to Leicester City and England footballer Jamie, took to Instagram in October to share a heartfelt message with fans about the trials of her past – and how husband Jamie had helped change her life.
She bravely said: “In my teens & my 20s I had years of hardship. Sexual abuse in my teens, a suicide attempt, awful relationships with nasty men who I stupidly thought would look after me.”
Rebekah continued: “I was a victim of awful domestic abuse (physical & psychological).
“I suffered from post-natal depression & caught my partner at the time messaging other women for sex when I was in the depths of despair.
“Somehow I found the strength to get out of the house and the relationship, I got help from my doctor & was able to stand on my own two feet.
“I struggled to make ends meet but I was independent and free from bad relationships for the first time in 16 difficult years and I was taking care of myself and my kids and loving it.
“That’s when Jamie came into my life. When I wasn’t looking for anyone and I was learning who I really was, I met the only man other than my real dad who finally showed me how kind and supportive a man could be.
“I am so grateful for our happy life and I truly believe that every awful thing I went through lead me on the path to the life that I love today. To anyone who is having a hard time for whatever reason, things do change, it will take time but it will get better.”
Rebekah says she was made homeless at just 15 years old after falling out with her family.
She recently told Loose Women that the sexual abuse she suffered as a teenager was a factor in her decision to leave home.
The 35-year-old said she was abused by someone known to her family – not a family member – recalling: “It was in my early teens for a few years that I experienced quite a few unpleasant things.
“It was someone pretty close. I had conversations with numerous members of my family and I was persuaded not to take it any further because I was made to feel it was the wrong thing to do at the time and not beneficial for anyone.”
“That was one of the reasons I left home,” she added.
“I struggled. I was a troubled child and I didn’t know what direction to take in my life and it was a really tough time.
“I think it’s really important I came through it and there is light at the end of the tunnel and it’s never too late to talk about something like this, no matter how difficult it may be at the time.”
In a prior interview with The Sun, Rebekah said she was just 13 when the abuse began and two years later she attempted to take her own life.
She left home just one year later, and at the age of 17, was married to first husband, Mark Godden.
Becky said they divorced when she realised she didn’t love him.
She went on to marry businessman Steve Clarke, but that relationship didn’t work out either, and another divorce occurred.
She met Jamie in 2014 when she was hired to organise his birthday party; the pair went on to wed and have two children.
Becky is also mum to a son and daughter from previous relationships, while Jamie has a daughter from a former relationship.