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Sunday 5th July 2020

TV presenter opens up about child abuse in emotional interview

The Sky host courageously opened up to Phillip and Holly on This Morning

Charlie Webster has opened up about being sexually abused as a child in an emotional interview on This Morning.

She told Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield along with another man who'd been sexually abused by his athletics coach, that they want to help other people find the courage to speak out.

The TV presenter was just 15 years old when her running coach told her she would benefit from private lessons.

He then groomed and abused her but was too scared to report it.

The Sky host said: "It never starts with a violent attack from some man or woman.

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"It starts with manipulation, it's a grooming process.

"I completely trusted my abuser and so did my family.

"Your hopes are pinned on that person."

Not only did her abuser befriend her family, he would go to her events and wait at the finishing line with her mum.

Holly became visibly distressed and asked: "How do we protect our children?"

Charlie replied: "First and foremost, victims need to be believed.

"We don't victim-blame no matter what gender they are.

"Education is so important, I didn't realise the first time around."

Charlie previously opened up about the abuse in 2014.

I completely trusted my abuser and so did my family.

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She said: "I got quite close to the running coach because you do.

"He abused the fact that I was an innocent person who wanted his support and his compassion and his care as my running coach."

The man was later jailed for 10 years and was put on the sex offenders register for life.

Charlie has not been the first known figure to speak about her abuse, Saira Khan and Karen Danczuk also opened up about their experiences.