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Zara McDermott brands her revenge porn hell ‘the worst thing’

Zara McDermott spoke to the Loose Women panel about her heartbreaking experiences with revenge porn and her ‘damaging’ stint on Love Island. 

The reality star, 24, who now stars on Made In Chelsea, detailed how she was victim to the crime twice and is now working with Refuge charity to try and overhaul and strengthen laws surrounding the heartbreaking crime. 

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The day before her Loose Women appearance, Zara, who is making a documentary on revenge porn, joined charity officials from Refuge in Parliament Square to lobby for changes in rules about revenge porn.  

Pained: Zara McDermott spoke to the Loose Women panel about her heartbreaking experiences with revenge porn and her ‘damaging’ stint on Love Island

Refuge is calling for anyone who threatens to share intimate photographs of another person without their consent to face prosecution. A law against disclosing intimate photos came into force in 2015 but the charity wants to see this strengthened.

Speaking on Loose Women about her own experience, she said: ‘I’ve been a victim of revenge porn, or what is called Image Based Sexual Abuse, twice in my life…

‘Notably, when I came out of Love Island, and came out to images of me, what felt like, circulating around the whole world. It was one of the hardest things I went through in my whole life.’

On how to help girls going through the same thing, she went on: ‘I think that telling someone to never sending an image of themselves or a video or do anything in a relationship in a digital way… 

Shock: Zara admitted she would not to Love Island if the opportunity arose

Shock: Zara admitted she would not to Love Island if the opportunity arose 

Campaign: The reality star, 24, who now stars on Made In Chelsea, detailed how she was victim to the crime twice and is now working with Refuge charity to try and overhaul and strengthen laws surrounding the heartbreaking crime

Campaign: The reality star, 24, who now stars on Made In Chelsea, detailed how she was victim to the crime twice and is now working with Refuge charity to try and overhaul and strengthen laws surrounding the heartbreaking crime

‘It’s quite naive to ask someone to do because we live in a hugely digital age right now, it’s only going to get more prolific in society… 

‘So I think that trying to do it safely is a really interesting concept to think about and something I thought about a lot, how can you educate people safely?…

‘And also and educating people who would share the images about the implications of their actions and them knowing it’s illegal and is an offence, I think could change a lot. 

When asked if she would do Love Island again, she stated: ‘I wouldn’t do it again personally, just because of my experience and how it has damaged me. There’s probably millions of other people who would’. 

Opening up: 'It’s quite naive to ask someone to do because we live in a hugely digital age right now, it's only going to get more prolific in society'

Opening up: ‘It’s quite naive to ask someone to do because we live in a hugely digital age right now, it’s only going to get more prolific in society’

On Thursday, Zara joined Refuge ambassador and domestic abuse survivor Natasha Saunders and Refuge policy manager Cordelia Tucker O’Sullivan outside Parliament.

She is joining charity officials in calling for an amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill when it returns to the House of Lords in the coming days.

According to Refuge data, one in seven young women have been threatened this way despite the law against revenge porn – often by current or former partners.

The charity says victims face barriers to justice because the act of making these threats is not yet a criminal offence.

Pained: Refuge is calling for anyone who threatens to share intimate photographs of another person without their consent to face prosecution

Pained: Refuge is calling for anyone who threatens to share intimate photographs of another person without their consent to face prosecution

Speaking about the project on Instagram, she said: ‘I’m going to speak to you guys about a very serious topic, something that’s really, really close to me and something I’ve been a victim of myself and that is revenge porn, or as other people like to call it image based sexual abuse… 

‘Some of the messages I’ve had have shocked me to the core. I can’t even begin to tell you what women are going through now.’

In March, it was revealed that Zara give an ’emotional and raw’ account of her experience of revenge porn in a BBC documentary. 

She revealed she will open up about the traumatic time in an upcoming show for BBC Three – recounting the time she left Love Island in 2018 and learnt that an ex had leaked naked images of her online.

Open and honest: Speaking about the project on Instagram, she said: 'I'm going to speak to you guys about a very serious topic, something that's really, really close to me'

Open and honest: Speaking about the project on Instagram, she said: ‘I’m going to speak to you guys about a very serious topic, something that’s really, really close to me’

Painful: In March, it was revealed that Zara give an 'emotional and raw' account of her experience of revenge porn in a BBC documentary

Painful: In March, it was revealed that Zara give an ’emotional and raw’ account of her experience of revenge porn in a BBC documentary

Zara wrote on Instagram: ‘ANNOUNCEMENT. Hi Everyone. Some of you may be aware that I have been a victim of Image Based Sexual Abuse, which is also known as Revenge Porn…

‘For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s basically when one person shares intimate images of videos of another person without their consent…

‘I am really humbled and honoured to announce that the BBC and I are currently making a documentary to share my story. 

‘My main aim is to bring awareness to this issue, and be a voice for those who have suffered in silence and to help make a change. I am sharing my story and being my most vulnerable, emotional and raw [sic].’

Open and honest: According to Zara, she now feels 'confident enough to properly speak out' about her personal experiences of revenge porn

Open and honest: According to Zara, she now feels ‘confident enough to properly speak out’ about her personal experiences of revenge porn

According to Zara, she now feels ‘confident enough to properly speak out’ about her personal experiences of revenge porn.

She wrote: ‘This has affected my life and me as a person tremendously, and for the first time I’m confident enough to properly speak out and share my story.

‘I am nervous to share these intimate details with the world but I hope that it will only make positive change and lessen the blame on us victims. The documentary will be out in a few months time on BBC Three. Thank you so much.’

Personal pain: According to Zara, she now feels 'confident enough to properly speak out' about her personal experiences of revenge porn

Personal pain: According to Zara, she now feels ‘confident enough to properly speak out’ about her personal experiences of revenge porn

Of the upcoming show, Fiona Campbell, the Controller at BBC Three, said: ‘We’re grateful to Zara for sharing her story with us and hope it will make a difference to young lives around the UK.’

This follows last year’s acclaimed documentary from the channel, Odd One Out featuring Jesy Nelson, 28, which broke BBC Three records.

The programme, which emotionally explores the Little Mix star’s horrific trolling ordeal and suicide attempt, also became the top show on BBC iPlayer after its release with 1.87 million requests within seven days – 64% being 16-34-year-olds.

Odd One Out also aired on BBC One at 9pm on Thursday 12 September with a whopping consolidated 3.3 million viewers and a 55% growth in show watchers compared to initial overnight ratings.

Heartbreaking: This follows last year's acclaimed documentary from the channel, Odd One Out featuring Jesy Nelson, 28, which broke BBC Three records

Heartbreaking: This follows last year’s acclaimed documentary from the channel, Odd One Out featuring Jesy Nelson, 28, which broke BBC Three records

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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