In quotes featured in a new Rita Ora biography, the singer has revealed that at 14 she dated someone who was 26.
X Factor judge Rita Ora has revealed that she was groomed as a teenager – dating a man who was 12 years her senior when she was only 14. But – despite acknowledging that some may consider the relationship ‘abuse’, she maintains that she doesn’t believe that applies to her – because she ‘wanted’ the attention.
Rita is revealed to have said: ‘I was 14 when I had my first relationship with a guy. I would say he was about 26. It is child abuse really, isn’t it?’ Adding that she doesn’t feel like she was abused because she was ‘mature’ for her age. She said, ‘I don’t want to say I suffered, because I wanted it. I don’t want people to think I was abused but I was definitely more mature than I should have been at 14.’
‘I was almost obsessed with having a man feel like he wanted me. I can’t begin to tell you how confident I felt when a man was interested in me. I felt like I had a form of respect, I felt like he listened to me. Now I know he listened to me because he obviously wanted to have sex.’
Since Rita’s stark confession, charities have warned that she should be careful when speaking out about such a subject. The NSPCC have released a statement saying: ‘Those in the public eye should think about the effect their words can have on those who look up to them. We know from calls to ChildLine that abuse can be life shattering. It is essential that people are given the confidence to get help to overcome the often devastating impact of abuse.’
The singer’s comments were actually made back in 2013 to Lifetime TV, however, they have been only just been brought to light by her biographers, Douglas Wight and Jenn Wiley. Since the quotes have been re-reported, Rita (who last night picked her final three X Factor contestants to take through to the X Factor live shows), has made no comment.