Artist News

Duffy tells “dark” story of her kidnap and assault in new essay

By | Published on Monday 6 April 2020


Duffy has published an essay in which she describes the kidnap and rape that she first spoke about in February this year. In that February message she said that she wanted to explain why she had withdrawn from the public eye after the release of her second album a decade ago, promising to publish a more detailed account of her past ordeal.

In the new essay she says that she spent “almost ten years completely alone” attempting to come to terms with what had happened to her, before explaining why she felt unable to speak out sooner and then offering support to others who have experienced sexual violence.

She reveals that she was drugged at a restaurant and then held captive in her home for four weeks before being transported to “a foreign country”. She eventually managed to escape after being brought back to the UK.

Saying that initially she “didn’t feel safe to go to the police”, she reveals that she has since told her story to police officers twice – once when someone attempted to blackmail her, threatening to reveal her story, and again when three intruders broke into her home.

“I am sharing this [now] because we are living in a hurting world and I am no longer ashamed that something deeply hurt me, anymore”, she writes. “I believe that if you speak from the heart within you, the heart within others will answer. As dark as my story is, I do speak from my heart, for my life, and for the life of others, whom have suffered the same”.

As well as detailing her own story, Duffy also speaks of the people who have contacted her since she made that initial post on Instagram back in February. Both those who have offered support and others who have come to her with their own stories of sexual assault.

“I also received messages from others whom were sexually abused and raped, of all ages and races and places and genders”, she says. “I want you to know I saw and read them. I read every word, and your story lives on in me”.

Last month, her first new song since 2010 – ‘Something Beautiful’ – was played on BBC Radio 2. Although she said at the time that she did not plan to release it, and she reiterates in her essay that she does not plan to return to a career in music at this time.

“As liberating as it’s been to finally speak and to finally sing, albeit on radio, I will now return to quietness”, she writes. “I thank Jo Whiley for letting me share a song on radio, during these times. Meant a lot to me”.

“I know this much though”, she adds. “I owe it to myself to release a body of work someday, though I very much doubt I will ever be the person people once knew. My music will be measured on the merit of its quality and this story will be something I experienced and not something that describes me”.